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Get to know Stephen Kamifuji, Creative Director of Genlux

Sep 23, 2010 By Amy

We always like getting to know our industry friends a little better. Recently, MyFDB received the opportunity to interview Stephen Kamifuji, Creative Director for Genlux magazine. The publication has made a name for itself with their A-list covers and eye-shot editorials like their latest featuring Dita Von Teese.

How do you decide on a cover girl for Genlux each season?

It’s a combination of finding that girl who is fashionable, has the face to pull off our close-up, and gives me the most cash.

Also, what has been your favorite cover to date?

Estella Warren photographed by Robert Deutschman

Please sum up the essence of Genlux in 5 words or less for our readers.

Fashion pages dripping with passion

How does an idea for an editorial go from concept to landing within the issue?

Good question. Each issue of Genlux has a theme. Each of the photographers that I select (usually between 7 to 9) present concepts that match the theme. We then go to work on getting celebrities or models as our subjects and assembling the glam team: the stylist, makeup artist, hair stylist, and manicurist. The location or studio (for studio it’s usually at Smashbox) is selected. The shoot days are usually full days that begin around 9 and end at around 6. Time is never an issue since everyone is working out of their passion for their craft. During that time, we get in about 7 to 12 looks that net us around 8 to 12 pages. The last steps are the editing. I grew up in a world of film where we had around one to two hundred images to edit from on a shoot. Granted, we had to move that loupe around on a lightbox but we had so many fewer images to edit than today. Just yesterday for a shoot with the beautiful Odette Yustman, we shot about 1000 images. So now, I request that the photographer do a “rough” edit. They will upload a gallery for me to peruse of about 10 to 20 images per look. From there, I’ll select the one or two that I like or that will work in combination (sometimes one image on the page can be made from a few images) and then we’ll go into retouching. Every shot is retouched. Never has a photograph gone from camera to the page. The final step is the layout. I will place the images in InDesign and move them around about a thousand times to create the most dynamic story. Sometimes there is a narrative so the flow from page to page is dictated by a storyboard. Most times in our fashion stories it is just a nice group of images that have to work well together. The most ironic thing about building a strong photographic fashion story is that sometimes the best photograph – simply because it doesn’t flow with the rest of the piece – will get cut.

What were your favorite collections at New York Fashion Week?

Stephen Kamifuji of Genlux

Let me give you two ends of the spectrum that were both brilliant collections: The chic, graphic, elegant, 3.1 Phillip Lim collection; and the soft, flowy, and can we coin a word here? “printiful” collection of Alberta Ferretti. I liked most of Jason Wu; and some of the pieces from the Marc Jacobs show were brilliant. Didn’t care for Alexander Wang or Gucci and I usually like Derek Lam but this collection was all over the place and the silhouettes weren’t particularly flattering.

Since all of your issues are available online, how do you think digital media will continue to change the fashion industry?

Yes, we realize digital is the future and that’s the reason for giving our readers the option, but hopefully the majority of women will continue the pleasurable experience of lounging in their bathrobes out by the pool, sipping their mint juleps while devouring the pages of the printed fashion books.

What are your favorite places to hang out in Los Angeles?

Lounging in my backyard out by the pool, sipping mint lemonade while devouring pages of printed fashion magazines. Or dining at Sur Restaurant over on Robertson.

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion industry hopefuls?

You must love fashion with all your heart and not for your pocketbook because the odds are you’re not going to get rich. The upside is that I’ve never found a more emotionally enriching business than this one.

Now let’s have some fun…QUICK, Word Association time! Tell us the first thing that pops into your head when you hear:

Summer: One of my favorite things: beautiful warm summer evenings.

Denim: Henry Duarte

Turtle: Turtle Bay, St. John

Silver: That designer that uses Kate Moss for his ads.

Palm Tree: How do they grow so tall without falling over.

Model Crush: Christy Turlington, Doutzen Kroes

Apple: One of my heroes, Steve Jobs.

And…That’s a wrap…..Thank you Stephen!

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Category: Design, editorials, Fashion, Interview, Photography

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