Parisians dress with the worry of others’ judgment, where New Yorkers dress principally for themselves. They are extreme and independent, over the top and exuberant. Their self-confidence is without fail and noticeable. They aren’t afraid of being critiqued or of the discreet yet judgmental glances that are so characteristic in Paris. What you feel is a true blossoming in the looks.
After a few days spent in New York during fashion week, you start feeling way more daring in terms of style, you feel like you can literally wear anything you want, especially stuff that you would be afraid to show the world normally.
In the subway or in the street, you see overdressed people, almost costumed. This freedom of expression is the engine of a permanent renewal, of a creativity without obstacles, but also of a clear mind openness and an enthusiasm towards others. You get more compliments from random people in a day in New York than after 10 years in Paris, and it is undeniable that it encourages you to own your tastes, even your most kitsch and secret ones (#Iamakpopfan).
We also feel really quickly that this freedom is still within communities and that every person belongs to a group with a strong stylistic identity in which she draws her self-confidence. You understand that there is a permanent wave of revolution, redefinition among these “cool kids” who change hair color like they change shoes, who challenge codes and inspire creatives.
They are the forefront of a movement already re-appropriated by the Bella Hadids and other Kylie Jenners in the digital era where everything that’s created today is public property the next day. In Paris, the “elegant” style is sacred and must be respected under penalty of excommunication. Of course, there is an arty/trashy vibe community of the Parisian cool kids from art school and from the Russian/Vetements wave, but even there is a sense of hesitation, of restraint.
This Parisian style, respected in the whole world and envied by New Yorkers, is a style that must appear effortless, natural, minimalist, but very chic and elaborated. The Parisian mentality is clearly fan of the “sprezzatura”, the nonchalant air of the high artistocraty, raised in the bosom of luxury, who knows etiquette, is cultivated, owns money, but all of that while seeming not to be aware of it. It is here that lies the paradox of the Parisian world where everybody pretends like they put on their clothes without really thinking about it in the morning, but in reality dresses more for the others than for him.
Of course we are French, Parisians, and thus we are better than everybody else in pretty much everything, especially in style, but in truth, New Yorkers are so much cooler than us. We decided to photograph these “cool kids” of New York, to capture the essence of these fascinating and strong personalities, by choosing different styles, more or less exuberant, and by choosing first of all charismatic people.