Fashion photography has the power to say a lot, and so do your fashion choices.
I stood still, I found my peace, my strength and faced all my fears. I am powerful beyond measure. – Kalu
When i first met Kalu, I was brand new to Oakland. In fact, I was brand new to California. A big part of me thought that fashion photography was a world I had left behind in NYC. Yet here I was, talking to Kalu about her handbag company, and more importantly her values as a human being. I talked to her a lot in the first few months of living in Oakland. We discussed race, poverty, systemic homelessness, feminism, and growth as a woman.
Once in a while I meet people who’s passion and intensity matches my own. But while the passion and the ideas existed so clearly when I spoke with Kalu. Her branding at the time didn’t fully reflect that. Luckily for us, this coincided with a period of brand overhaul and refocusing. Creating branding that actually reflects who she is and what her company stands for. I’m both thrilled and honored to have been a part of this transition. As some of you may remember, our first shoot together was in January 2017. Shortly after the election, we were both simultaneously stunned and propelled into action. That resulted in a series of images that were powerful, bold, and ready for action.
In this latest photo shoot we turned our focus on to the original Kalu handbag. The Vagina Bag. It’s called that because the design looks like a vagina. And because feminine strength inspired and in a way birthed this company. (Yes, pun intended).
Handbags as self expression
In the past I’ve admired handbags but never really thought about how much a handbag says about a woman. And, I’m more of a canvas tote or Backpack person myself. But, today I spent the day walking around Dubai. Here there are people from all over the world. There are women in bikinis on the beaches and boardwalks. And there are women in full burkas, their faces and sometimes even their eyes covered. But they always have a handbag. Those bags are their fashion statements, their self expression. Each one is different, each one has a story.
So as I sit here listening to the call to prayer echoing through the city. I’m reminded of the power in fashion, photography, and our choices
Be sure to check out the Kalu website for more bags and to get one for yourself!