In preparation of the first drop of the New World Collection, we connected with photographer and creative director Sophia Wilson to capture our collection’s story. We had the opportunity to ask her a few questions to get some insight on what makes her a perfect fit for this collection.
- What inspired you to pursue photography?
I have always been an artist for as long as I can remember, but when I was 12 I was inspired by the ‘at-the-time’ new platform Instagram to pick up my first camera. I immediately fell in love with this art form and decided I would take advantage of the fact that I’m from NYC to book gigs to shoot for some of the biggest publications in fashion, art, news, etc. I made it my duty to fill the gap that I saw in the mainstream media and create more spaces for people that look like me both in front of and behind the camera.
- Our brand’s mission relies on the tag line, Support Your Friends. One of the beauties of our tag-line is that each individual interprets it differently – what does Support Your Friends mean to you?
To me, “Support Your Friends” means that we should all work with and give more opportunities to our peers. For example, when I’m doing casting work oftentimes I choose to use real friends of mine as my subjects over tall skinny agency models because that’s who I’d want to see on a billboard or in a magazine. It creates for more authentic work that resonates with everyone.
- We feel honored that we got the opportunity to work with you and believe that a lot of your work aligns with our brand’s focus on social responsibility. What are some ways you use your platform to encourage social responsibility? Can you talk to us about City Kits?
As an artist I recognize that I have a responsibility to diversify the media. This means not only hiring more models of color and models with varying body types but also hiring more people of color behind the camera to do hair, makeup, etc. When I started CityKits, a lot of people and media outlets started labeling me as an activist but I really think everything I do, regardless of medium, just goes back to me trying to be a good person. This is the bare minimum. It’s been amazing to watch CityKits grow— in its earlier weeks CityKits met everyday at our home base (vintage store Procell was gracious enough to lend us their space) for seven weeks straight and created 1000+ protester care packages everyday to help aid those on the front lines. In a way this goes back to the tag line “Support Your Friends,” that’s pretty much all CityKits was doing.
- During a photoshoot, what are some things that inspire your creative direction?
I definitely take inspiration from everything surrounding me on set, I look at the pieces we’re supposed to be highlighting and I think of ways to properly integrate them into the models’ figures in ways I haven’t seen before. I pay close attention to the clothing and the models’ textures, colors, silhouettes, forms, etc. and normally it’ll just come to me.
- What are some of the goals you have as a photographer? Do you see yourself continuing in the photography industry?
As a photographer my main goal as of now is just to keep challenging people’s views and expectations by getting my unique casting and photography everywhere. I will definitely be a photographer forever but I also am trying to explore new mediums and push my limits as an artist.
Be sure to check out Sophia’s work in our recently published New World Lookbook.