Fashion Photographer Gains Fame Away from Runway

      April 07, 2015 08:11

      Nam Hyun-bum

      Nam Hyun-bum was a university student majoring in the IT when he was drawn to fashion photography. Just 25, he quit school in the summer of 2010 and spent his entire savings on a plane ticket to fashion mecca Milan.

      Five years on Nam is among Korea's top street fashion photographers and published a book entitled "Fashion Week" containing his works. But it would be a mistake to expect glossy photos of models strutting down the catwalk. The subjects of Nam's 300 photos are ordinary people he captured on the streets of cities hosting premier fashion shows.

      Nam has no formal training in photography, let alone fashion design. But the Busan native was able to reach out to many people online. He started a blog featuring street fashions from Korea and around the world.

      Word spread quickly and soon his blog was attracting around 30,000 visitors a day. His newfound Internet fame attracted renowned foreign fashion magazines, including Vogue, Elle, Bazaar and Marie Claire who sought his photos. Nam also worked on brand photo shoots for Prada, Miu Miu, Fendi and Tods.

      But even at glamorous fashions shows, what caught his attention were ordinary people he encountered outside. At first put his lens on the models but soon shifted the subject to people sitting waiting to get in, models on their way home or to work, or grannies and grandfathers in wrinkled tank tops staring at the gorgeous young people walking by.

      Japanese model Kiko Mizuhara captured by Nam Hyun-bum during the Paris Fashion Week last year.

      "I was drawn by the reality of faces without makeup. That is the true face of life and I found that fascinating," he says. "What's interesting about the world of fashion is that some people are crazy about fashion and enjoy following the latest trends, while others really don't care. Both of these scenes can be seen on the same streets and this created a very interesting mix."

      "I learned to take a step back and look at the big picture," he adds. "That's how I was able to get the shots other photographers missed."

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