2 Posted by - May 2, 2013 - FASHION

2013 sees the 140th anniversary of Levi’s 501s and in celebration, Levi’s has teamed up with Vice in the US to create a global photographic exhibition featuring Levi’s 501 jeans. Photographers from around the world took part and the result is very cool stuff. The images will be published in a special-edition book and online here too.

We chatted to the Cape Town photographers who made the grade for the project.

Husband-and-wife duo Sarah Nankin and Sam Coleman

We love the photographs! Being a collaboration, who did what?

With Sam’s background in art directing, he plays a big role in the art direction side of our work. He helps to push the work to be something more than the obvious.

I was asked to shoot a series of portraits of Cape Town-based creatives for the project. We selected people whose work we love and respect, and who ultimately could rock a pair of 501s.


Freelance fashion editor Asanda Sizani

I love that she looks as if she’s holding a secret, a secret key or answer to something magical. There’s an intimacy I really love.


Photographers Jonathan Kope and Jarred Figgens

Perfect boys in perfect jeans, floating in a swimming pool as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.


ELLE Style Reporter in association with BlackBerry Trevor Stuurman

There is so much going on in this image. The flying bird, the little girl walking with her umbrella, the taxis. Among all this, Trevor is still and strong and proud, looking straight at us.


Photographer Nico Krijno and his muse Mignonne van Eeden

I love the blown-out feeling of the image, a snapshot of a moment.


 Artist Barend de Wet

Besides being a legendary artist, Barend is also an avid yo-yo enthusiast and holds some yo-yoing world records. I loved using him and his yo-yo in the shot. The result is something super-graphic.


What was the highlight of this project?

Watching, from the top of a high ladder, photographers Jonathan Kope and Jarred Figgins trying to float in wet jeans and look cool and calm at the same time.

For more on Sam and Sarah, visit www.sarahnankin.com and www.samuelcoleman.net

Jonathan Kope and Jarred Figgins

We chose a mixed bunch of people but focused on fringe and contemporary creatives. People who are up-and-coming or who have been around for a while and who we admire.


Your inspiration?

We’re from a fashion background and the idea of creating the archetypal artist’s portrait didn’t appeal to us. So we aimed for the slightly odd to push our subjects perhaps a little out of their comfort zones. I suppose we just wanted to create images of people that catch your attention but without trying too hard.

Artist and curator Kerry Chaloner

Kerry’s shot was meant to of her floating on the inflatable couch in the pool but this outtake was just so much stronger.


Art director Samuel Coleman

Sam pushed us to do a bit more for this one than the others and given his background, there’s a lot going on in the image. But the banality of the interplay between him and Spirit Boy is brilliant.


Artist Rodan Kane Hart

Rodan’s quite a robust kind of guy, so to have him gently embracing his sculpture is something we don’t see very often, a tenderness that is rare.


For more on photographers Jonathan Kope and Jarred Figgens, visit www.kopefiggins.com and www.kopefiggins.tumblr.com

Check out the photographs from the 501 series here.

1 Comment

  • Nomali May 2, 2013 - 11:22 am

    All these interpretations hold a strange magic. They’re very different but are similarly strong. I love creatives! Well done.