May I Introduce: Louis Philippe de Gagoue
Managed by ATRSPHERE, Louis Philippe de Gagoue is an Ivorian photographer and stylist who “explores the contemporary African art scene” through his work. De Gagoue is most fond of analog photography due to the vintage touch it leaves on each photo, which also makes it easier for him to display a mixture of styles. De Gagoue uses unique architecture as the backdrop of his photographs, another element that possesses originality in each of his collections. In some of his most recent work, a collaboration with fashion-line EDUN (co-founded by Bono), De Gagoue chose the Yaounde City Hall in Cameroon, West Africa as the shoot’s location.
Text: Becky Ingram
Aug. 17, 2017
Labels: May I introduce
Although a New York City and Dublin based brand, EDUN clothing production and sourcing of raw materials is based in Africa with attempts to promote trade within the region. EDUN strives to convey African landscapes and expression within photo campaigns, so a collaboration with De Gagoue seemed like one of the only plausible options.
When commenting on the campaign location for EDUN, De Gagoue shares in an interview with e-PITTI.com, “I didn't ever really work in the Ivory Coast before. There is not really a scene here like there is in Nigeria and South Africa where there is much more of an international market.” De Gagoue frequently admits in interviews that it’s difficult for him to only be the photographer in a campaign and that he prefers to also hold the role of the casting director and the stylist. While searching for models, De Gagoue attempts to find characters with a perfect balance between masculinity and femininity and believes that the demeanor of the model her/himself is what truly makes great shot.
Continuing on about the transformation of his career, De Gagoue recognizes the drastic change in his professional and artistic presence in the fashion industry, “I started out in the fashion world as a blogger seven years ago. I canceled my blog about 4 years ago. I made a name for myself for my ability to mix and match and then I later moved to Dubai where I worked as a stylist and now I have my own agency.”
In a 2013 interview, back when De Gagoue was still merely a self-proclaimed blogger, he acknowledges his natural curiosity of all things culture and how culture is responsible for a lot of his ideas towards styling, “I read a lot, especially books discussing civilizations, foreign traditions, history...I also love cinema and music a lot; sometimes I compose mentally an outfit just by listening to a song that inspires me.”
“Concerning my aesthetic let’s say that I am quite eclectic as a person and I don’t set barriers for myself and fashion. I don’t like the way fashion is segmented and stereotyped (Black Fashion, Asian fashion, US Fashion...). My very own philosophy is to break barriers down and blend all of those cultures in one outfit. My favorite part of this archived interview is that he addresses a fashion flaw that I have to agree with. When asked about his particular fashion choices, he responds with, “I would never wear runnings (vous savez, ces baskets que les fashionistas mixent avec des tenues de ville), and it’s weird cause I like them but on other people only, they wouldn’t look good on me. There is also this Givenchy nasal piercing, aw so ugly...No way for me (laughters).