5 Questions With… Steven Klein

Yes, he’s very very serious about his collab with Nars


What do you get when two great minds come together? Gorgeous makeup that’s both modern and timeless. Like the festive colour collection that was born when photographer extraordinaire, Steven Klein - who’s worked with the likes of Madonna, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Justin Timberlake - collaborated with makeup maestro François Nars. We find out more about it from Klein here. 

 

What was your first impression when you learned Nars was interested in collaborating with you on a collection?

The whole idea was a no-brainer. I love the idea of not shooting images for a campaign, but using archival photos. What François said to me were key words, because I’m always restricted. He said, “If we use your strongest images, we want you. We love what you do and I want your vision.” How could you refuse an offer like that?

 

Tell us about the collaborative process.

It was really interesting because he had me submit pictures that I liked, and then he made a large selection, and we both chose the final images together. We thought we’d represent this new collection and represent me as a photographer. I found that really exciting given the climate of the corporate control with most brands (especially in cosmetics). Everything has still come back to me. That’s why this project was so exciting; I was working with another creative person, collaborating directly with him. He’s the one in control, so he doesn’t have to go through this corporate board to crush ideas.

 

How did you choose the shades for the collection?

For me, it was a great opportunity to explore my work in a different way - it’s turning my images into three-dimensional products. The collection was based on my images that existed as opposed to creating images that were inspired by the products.

 

What is the relationship between beauty and fashion for you?

There’s an aspect of what you do with the makeup and how it fits characters. The colours that you choose, the way you do your eyeliner, your style - it gives me an indication of who you are. Faces tell stories. Makeup creates characters. 

Who has been your favourite person to shoot?

I have a strong connection with Madonna - she’s one of my best friends and we have a long history together. It’s about unspoken words of love and respect for each other. She was the first person who told me to pick up the film camera. After I did X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS with Madonna (which included a photoshoot as well as seven video segments), I did an exhibition and she said, “I want to show your work all over the world.” 

Ever since then, we’ve been doing various projects together. We don’t always see eye to eye, which is good, but we have the same interests. We love horses, we love great art and we love cultured and intelligent people. We’re both seekers and we don't settle for anything but pushing the limit as far as we can go.

 


From $30. The Nars X Steven Klein Color and Gifting Collections are available at Tangs at Tangs Plaza, Robinsons The Heeren and Sephora Ion.

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