On the pic of Kobe wearing the top hat and head wrap
This was a prep look, but still unconventional. He’s wearing a shirt buttoned up with a bowtie, but we put a hat on and created a character. Kobe was amazing to work with because he was cool with everything. He trusted us. We took a picture and he liked it so we kept going. We wanted to do a picture with a hat because the photographer wanted to do everything in white. He’s a cool, young and successful athlete. I wanted to give a modern approach. I was thinking of [rapper] Tupac [Shakur] where I put a band underneath in the hat to make it look hip-hop, but … it translates in a surreal look where it creates a strong image. It was something that hasn’t been done before. It’s mixing the inspiration of Tupac and a gentleman with a white hat … a mix of a hip-hop and a conservative look.
On the Negative reaction from the shoot
The scarf picture and the hat picture were more to create an iconic image. When you do a portrait, you do think of the styling in how they’re going to be different and how they’re going to stand out. In 10 years time, or five years time, there has to be something particular or strange or different that will stand out. That image will stay in your mind. That’s how it’s going to become iconic. … A lot of people aren’t used to that, so when iconic pictures come out, they’re disturbing, insulting, fascinating, it has a strong feeling attached to it, good or bad.
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