Lord ashbury at london fashion week
Video Produced + Written By Sean Stillmaker
The crowd was as thick as molasses at Somerset House, but expertly traversing through the eloquent ensembles was a tall, black, eyeglass rimmed New Yorker cradling his camera while his eyes hunted for the next shot at London Fashion Week.
The famed street style photographer from the Big Apple, Simbarashe of Lord Ashbury, descended upon London last week for one of his favorite events of the year. Fashion week is pretty much the equivalent of the “Olympics” for street style photographers, Simbarashe explained.
“I shoot during the year with the idea and expectation of leading up to fashion week. It’s sort of like putting in reps,” he said. “For me it’s basically what shooting every single day is. So when I come to fashion week, being surrounded by the best fashion photographers in the world, and everyone is hungry for the absolute best photo of the day, of the week … it’s really important I’m on top of my game.”
We know exactly how many reps Simbarashe puts in every single day. majestic disorder shadowed him around NYC back in July, and suffice it to say, his training is on Michael Phelps proportions.
So when this Featured Mind told us he was coming to London, we could barely contain our excitement of following him through the “Fashion Olympics.”
There’s plenty of glamour, stunning shows and fabulous parties to attend during fashion week, but for street style photographers, the allure is completely absent from the reality of the hardcore work ahead.
When Simbarashe describes fashion week as the Olympics, he’s nearly dead on. Photographers must assemble at shows sometimes as early as 6 a.m. and go throughout the entire day bouncing from each setup, sometimes across town, and do it with nothing more than an energy bar and coffee. Then when the work is done and some dinner is in the belly, the photographers begin editing their day’s roll into the early hours of the morning.
“Physically it’s very demanding because of the way I shoot. My back hurts when I get home and I’ll have to do a lot of stretching in the morning,” he described. “It’s mentally challenging just the notion of taking between 500-1,000 images a day, going home, going through the roll and finding you really only have five spectacular ones. Sure there are a lot of shots that turn out good, I’m just talking about the really exemplary ones that are so hard to find and every photographer is after that exact same shot.”
Simbarashe hit the bull’s-eye during London Fashion Week with his shots though. His blog achieved the best single day views back-to-back. He was even featured in the Guardian as one of the fashionable bloggers you should know.
When asked about setting this new website record and his reach to the upper press echelons, Simbarashe just kicks back with a modest smile saying, “that was pretty good.”
Perhaps one of the reasons why he was able to set this record was the fashion availability in London and London Fashion Week as a whole. The city’s inhabitants tend to be on the fashion conscious side of the wardrobe without the spectacle of high-end, but stylish enough to turn heads – creating a perfect blend for street style.
“London Fashion Week is pretty unique in the sense that the style you see, for the most part, are ensembles people will actually wear on the street. There’s a lot of pageantry that goes on at all the fashion weeks, but more so at London do you see a very rich collection of style that is attainable,” Simbarashe said.
And just like that, the next dashing person catches his eye. Simbarashe leaps into action stealthily approaching his prey. With a warm and inviting smile he asks to take a picture with his three-week old Sony A99. The picture is snapped in less than 30 seconds. He then hands the gracious person his card and blends back into the crowd back on the hunt for the next great picture.