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LEINWÄNDE is designed by a Japanese designer,
who is living in London.
In Our Canvas, we will create stories told
between the two countries, Japan and UK,
reflecting such a background of the brand.
For the first story, we worked together with
a London-based photographer Chieska Fortune Smith.
Indulge in the Japanese aesthetics reinterpreted
by Smith and expressed through photography,
taken in London and enjoy a mini interview.
- Please tell us about your background.
"I was born in the USA.
My mom is Japanese, originally from Tachikawa, Tokyo,
and my dad is Black American, from Washington, DC.
As a child, I would visit Japan in the summer
with my mom and sister, and in the US,
I would spend weekends at
my American Grandma’s house.
Her house is permanently ingrained in my memory."
Top: Fox Rib Knit Top / Purple
Trousers: Vida Trousers / Beige
- What drew you to London?
"Well. I hate to say it, but it was originally
because of a man, haha.
While living in Japan as an English teacher,
I met a British guy. We immediately connected.
After some time and some long distance shenanigans,
I moved to the UK to marry him.
I’ve been here for about 10 years now,
first in Bristol and then in London.
But I love London. It is home.
It is my happy bubble, of life and art and everything I need right now. "
- Do you think your Japanese/Black American roots are
reflected in your work? If so, in what ways?
"I am Japanese and Black American.
So everything I am, everything I do, reflects this in some way. "
- Your works often feature a strong contrast
in black and white or sepia toning.
What inspired you to pursue this distinctive photographic style?
"Firstly, some of my biggest inspirations are
photographers of the early 20th century,
Daido Moriyama, Walker Evans,
and Diane Arbus to name a few,
so my style intrinsically draws back to them.
But mainly, my roots, my heritage give my style
it’s grounding and solidity.
I grew up looking at old photos of my mother
and father, found photos of them.
The colours, the tones are embedded in my aesthetic.
I think I’m also drawn to the timelessness of
black and white and sepia.
There is the combined feeling of story and conviction.
My goal with my photographs is to bring that feeling
and meld with it the modern."
Photographer. Chieska Fortune Smith (Webber Represents)
Stylist. Kyanisha Morgan
Hair. Kota Suizu
Makeup. Kristina Ralph Andrews (Future Representation)
Model. Sano Turdiev (Elite London)