Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vagabond Days-Ian O'Brien/Ford

Shirt by Comme des Garçons Shirt; sneakers by Tretorn; scarf worn as belt and socks, both by Acne; tophat by Topman; shorts, fingerless gloves, cane, ribbon, bandana and shoe laces worn as bow tie, all, stylist's own

Jacket, shirt, trouser, all by Comme des Garçons Shirt; beanie and socks, both by Acne; sneakers by Vans; buttons by Fingers Crossed; tie, ascots, belt and sunglasses, all, stylist's own

Sweater, shirt, trouser, all by Comme des Garçons Shirt; scarf worn as belt, gloves and socks, both by Acne; sneakers by Vans; umbrella, stylist's own

Tee shirt, pullover and trouser, all by Comme des Garçons Shirt; jacket by Harris Tweed Scotland; gloves and socks, both by Acne; sneakers by Vans; buttons by Fingers Crossed; bandana by Zucca; sunglasses and cane, both, stylist's own

Full Name: Ian O'Brien

Hometown: London, England

Age: 17

Discovery/How did you get into modeling: I was scouted by an agent in Camden.

Other career goals: I hope to study at a musical academy and become a professional music theorist/historian and composer.

Favorite composer/artist: My favorite composer is probably Debussy, though I love Beethoven's later works.

Musical instruments you play: I play the guitar and the piano, and I used to play the violin.

Favorite past time: I love to jam on guitar with a good drummer, or take long walks through a city and see the people in action.

People will be surprised to know this about me: I'm very uncomfortable having my picture taken.

A song that would best describe who you are: "Across The Universe" by The Beatles

AGENT: Jesse Simon

GROOMING: Yinna Wang for Badass
Special thanks to Daphne Seybold at Comme des Garçons, Jesse Simon at Ford Models, Malkiel Berry/Poppy Edmonds at Black Frame, Sabrina Bello at Tretorn/Puma and Elizabeth Marquis at Serendipity Communications for their support.

Comme des Garçons Shirt-Comme des Garçons, NY 212 604 9200
Harris Tweed

Thursday, August 6, 2009

THE OUTLAW-Daniel Liu/Ford/FM2

A Fall 2009 Preview
Jeans by Tom Ford; bandana. stylist's own

Left: Turtleneck and scarf, both by Tom Ford
Right: Coat, turtleneck, scarf and jeans,
all by Tom Ford; boots by Gordon Rush
Left: Vintage denim shirt by Alexander McQueen; tank tee by Boss Orange; boots by Gordon Rush; belt, stylist's own; jeans by Lee; watch by David Yurman; fedora by Burberry Prorsum
Right: Turtleneck by Tom Ford; bandana, stylist's own; fedora by Burberry Prorsum

Left: Coat by Tom Ford
Right: denim jacket by Guess; tank tee by Boss Orange; jeans by Diesel; watch by David Yurman; bandana and belt, stylist's own

Sweater by Tom Ford; tank tee by Boss Orange; long thermal wintry socks, stylist's own

Fragrance by Tom Ford Extreme/Vaporisateur

Full Name: Daniel Liu

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Age: 26

Discovery/How did you get into modeling: My sister sent in some digital photos from a modeling contest I'd won and I got a call from Ford shortly after that. She never told me she submitted them so I was surprised to get a phone call from the main agent in LA.

Previous career before entering the wonderful world of modeling: I've had a couple career jobs before modeling but this is what I love doing most. I get to work with and meet great people, travel, and have flexibility in my schedule. It is perfect for me at the moment.

Other career goals: I definitely have some plans for the future that are aside from modeling. I'd like to own my own business at some point and to also impact some kind of positive change with whatever resources I have. Whether it's helping the environment, providing for the homeless, or sending medicine overseas, I definitely want to help in any way that I can.

Favorite hobbies: I really enjoy working out, staying healthy, playing the guitar, watching movies, and spending time with the people I love. I can have fun doing just about anything when I'm in the right company.

Favorite music/films: I listen to different music to match my moods. When I'm just getting through the day, I like listening to The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, Keane, The Shins, or lots of Indie Rock. When I'm trying to mellow out or wind down after a long day, it's Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, or something relaxing. As far as my favorite movies go, Top Gun is definitely one of them. I also liked the films Fight Club and Pulp Fiction.

How did you enjoy doing this shoot? I loved working with the team. They were amazing to work with and very professional.

People will be surprised to know this about me: I can be serious at times, but really I'm a guy that loves to have fun. I work hard but I also enjoy the little things in life.

AGENT: Maher Naser

GROOMING: Yinna Wang for Badass
Special thanks to Natalie Rawling and Cliff Fleiser at Tom Ford International and Maher Naser at Ford/FM2

Tom Ford/Tom Ford

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


What you didn't know...
Gene Kogan/DNA/Mens Division Co-Director

Full Name: Gene Kogan
Age: 37
Homebase: Originally from Odessa, Ukraine, now resides in Coney Island, Brooklyn
Years Of Collecting: Since 12 (so 25 years), with a few years off between high school and college, and in my mid 20's, so maybe around 20 years, all said and done. But seriously only in the last 10 years.

1. How did your love for collecting art/comics begin?

I’m afraid to say my collecting started as a manifestation of an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). I’ve had that my whole life without ever being diagnosed. It only became recognizable as I got older and gained self awareness. Looking back, I used to do pretty strange things. Anyway, when a friend of mine introduced me to comics, back in the 7th grade, I must have been 11 or 12, I was hooked and finally my OCD tendencies found a new outlet. I quit for a while during high school and early college, when I became obsessed with other things, and was reintroduced my freshman or sophomore year in college. It’s been full throttle since. Comic collecting led to collecting limited edition books, 1st edition books, graphic novels, original art, art books, photo books, magazines and catalogues. I’ve become like a collecting vacuum cleaner, picking stuff up as I go along. I become relentless in my pursuit of collectibles. I get anxious when I absolutely must have something. It’s a disease.

2. Which comic character was your favorite and why?

Wow, that’s a tough one to answer. It’s changed significantly throughout the years. The first comic I ever picked up was Web of Spider-Man #1. It was such a beautiful issue with this amazing cover by Charles Vess. Immediately, Spider-Man became my favorite character. I just related to him and felt sorry for him and despite all his troubles, wanted to be him. What a wonderful character: fantastic powers, tragic history, real world problems. He was definitely one of the best characters created in the super-hero genre. And I still have much affection for him. There was also Batman from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, which for me, was the greatest incarnation of the character. But as I grew older and my interests changed, other comics and other characters began to really affect me. There was the comic book Sandman written by Neil Gaiman, with this wonderful cast of characters, including the title character Morpheus. There was Cerebus, with its protagonist, a barbarian aardvark, who was a vehicle for the authors varied, poignant and often controversial view points. There was the father in Lone Wolf & Cub, who was so complex in that he was very dark, vicious and deliberate in his ways, while remaining heroic, admirable and relatable. Usagi Yojimbo, a samurai rabbit, from the comic of the same name. Ultimately, if I had to choose one favorite character, it would probably be Bacchus from Eddie Campbell’s Deadface/Bacchus series. He’s the ancient god who survived and continues to live in our modern times. He’s just an extraordinary character, experience worn, somewhat bitter, but still has a thirst and appreciation for life, adventure and a good yarn. Not a great role model, but a hell of a character.

3. We were told that your collection of collectibles is vast and varied, how do you go about finding these collectibles?

There are things I get because I love them aesthetically, but I definitely keep one eye out for their value and potential for appreciation. And there are things I get because they speak to me personally and I could give a damn what their monetary worth is, because I would never part with them. So yes, the collection is vast and varied, but I think the items I collect hit the same emotional nerve, whether it’s something that catches my eye or my heart. I get a good chunk of my collection through online outlets. I can credit/thank Terry Richardson for my ebay addiction. I hardly ever visited eBay, until I started searching for one of his books. I was a big fan of Terry’s Sisley catalogues, and I read about an exhibit in Berlin featuring outtakes from several of those shoots and a book that was published in conjunction with the exhibit called Too Much. I checked with a few stores and no one even heard of it. So I started searching for it online obsessively, especially on eBay. Unfortunately, I never did find the book on eBay. To this day, eBay is a daily ritual. As for the book, I became convinced it was an urban legend and the book actually never existed. Terry confirmed its existence, but confessed to having only one copy himself. I looked for this book for the better part of 5 years before coming across it from some seller on a German equivalent of craigslist. I couldn’t believe it and I wouldn’t believe it until I actually saw it in my hands. It was incredibly difficult to make the transaction and I had to recruit one of my German models for help, but I finally got it. It was a beautiful book, but certainly anti-climactic, as it was such an arduous journey. I prize that book above all others. Ebay and the internet are the primary sources for my collection. But certainly, not the only source. I go to comic book conventions, small press conventions, art book festivals, galleries, specialty shops, including one of my favorite stores in NY, Dashwood Books, which deals exclusively in photography publications (small plug). I contact artists directly, publishers directly. I check out various galleries and establishments wherever I travel. I seek out other collectors with similar interests. Whatever it takes. I’m relentless in that regard.

4. How can you tell if the work you are obtaining is authentic?

It really depends on the item. Most books and comics list the printings or have tangible distinctions that stand them apart from other printings. So that’s pretty easy. As for art, you try to procure them from reputable sources or from the artists themselves. I’ve also had artists occasionally authenticate works that I was interested from a third party. Obviously there is a danger of fakes, but I think common sense, experience and a careful eye will catch those things. As with anything, you just have to be careful and expect a certain degree of risk.

5. Do you sell or trade your collection?

I do, sometimes an item just loses its luster for me or my tastes change or it no longer has that sentimental value. And sometimes I will see something that’s a bargain and feel that I can sell it for a profit or use it as currency for something else I want. I’ve actually done quite well in that regard. It’s all part of collecting. There are plenty of outlets for reaching other collectors, some mainstream, some a little more exclusive, but if you have something of value, someone else will want it. This part is also a lot of fun.

6. Do you try to draw or render your favorite comic hero in your own spare time or when you were growing up?

Not really. I’ve loved the visual arts as long as I can remember, but ironically, never developed any artistic abilities myself. So I tried to enter the visual arts world through the back door. I studied film and literature and really thought that I was going to either make movies or comics. Sadly, that hasn’t materialized. But I haven’t given up yet. I have a really interesting project that I’m working on and I will try to get it out there one day.

7. What's on your current favorite list, comics wise?

Well, my interest in art goes well beyond just comics. But I have to admit that my first artistic love was comics. And over the years that love has grown and diversified. To be honest, while I understand the value of the comic greats like Jack Kirby and Gil Kane, within their historical context, and while I always liked their work and admired them, I didn’t grow up on their comics and never developed that connection to them. Much like I value Citizen Kane from a historical context, but I can’t say it’s among my favorite films. There were exceptions, however. I really enjoyed Steve Ditko’s work on the early Spider-Man comics and artists such as Walt Kelly, George Herriman and Jim Steranko. But mostly, the artists that I truly love are the ones that re-ignited my interest in comics and continue to affect me today. Eddie Campbell with his poignant autobiographical and mythological stories, Chris Ware and his Acme Novelty Library, Daniel Clowes, Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Chester Brown, Eric Drooker with his beautiful wordless woodcut stories, Dave McKean who may have been the first artist to blow my mind, Anders Nilsen, Paul Pope, David Mazzucchelli, Charles Burns. As well as some wonderful European artists who don’t have as much recognition in the US, but are no less masters of the form, such as Frederic Coche, Lorenzo Mattotti, Thomas Ott, David B, Milo Manara, Olivier Schrauwen and many more that I’m forgetting. There is so much creativity in comics and so many exceptional comics. It used to be that artists drew comics because they couldn’t get work elsewhere. But the current crop of artists draw comics because they love comics and they’re as talented as some of the best fine artists out there.

...and art wise?

I think much of my interest in art stems from my love of German Expressionism, which had an affect on me before I knew what it was or what it was called. The deep, rich, passionate colors, the distorted figures, the wood cuts. And I find today’s so-called Deviant Art is the grandchild of the old German Expressionists and is often characterized by similar attributes, but is also influenced by cartoons, comics and pop culture. So much of my interest lies in these type of artists, from the classics like Lynd Ward, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Frans Masereel, Conrad Felixmuller to modern masters like Mark Ryden, Marion Peck, John Currin, Marcel Dzama, Dave Cooper, James Jean to new artists trying to establish themselves like Kathleen Lolley, Jack Long, Jason Hernendez. Again, I’m missing a ton of people, as I’m just going off the top of my head. Art has transportive qualities for me. I fall into the works, whether they’re comic book pages or fine art, to the world they present. It really just takes me away. And definitely, a lot of the art that I love has fantastic elements to them, some almost fable like, because that speaks to my own imagination. It’s what I would render if I had the ability. I do want to mention one more artists who I greatly admired. I was incredibly saddened to hear that Dash Snow passed away recently. We’ve lost some great photographers lately, Luke Smalley, Shawn Mortensen, but Dash’s passing really hit hard. While I’ve met him a few times, I can’t say that I knew him (he never remembered me), but I’ve followed his work for a few years now and to me he was a courageous artist, a true punk artist and a man of extraordinary vision. His art was uninhibited, much like his life. I have all his books and like them all, but I really loved his zines. His work and his zines were so intertwined. They were the perfect outlet for his art. And his love for those wonderful zines was clearly evident. I especially loved “In the Softest Grey Petals of the Bomb, Lay Your Finger Across My Lips,” on which he collaborated with Leo Fitzpatrick. It is dark, thoughtful and serene. Very poetic and very moving. I also loved “Gang Bang at Ground Zero,” a hysterical and disturbing zine he did with his father. He was a great artists and taken way too soon.

8. Is there something out there you haven't been able to track down yet and want badly?

While there are a few items that I’m having a difficult time tracking, most things I’m interested in are out there, they’re just too expensive. I don’t have unlimited funds. I have a family, big expenses and my disposable income is quite limited. So often it’s not about finding something, it’s about finding something affordable and not overpaying. I would love to get a piece by Robert Crumb, a great Sandman page or a Dave McKean Sandman cover, a Dave Cooper painting, a mint copy of Terry Richardson’s Hysteric Glamour book, some of Larry Clark’s early books or a Ryan McGinley print, and they’re out there, I just can’t afford them at the moment. But I’m good at finding opportunities. Sniffing out an undervalued piece or by combining trade and cash to get something I want. I feel that at some point, I will be able to get the things I want. There are, however, some items that are not necessarily expensive, but are impossible to find. That Terry Richardson book I mentioned. While most of his other books are more expensive, Too Much is impossible to find. Likewise, I would love to get Ryan McGinley’s The Kids are Alright. I’ve only ever seen it at a gallery showing of his. I’ve never seen it for sale anywhere. I’m sure it would be less expensive than some of his other books, but try finding it. There is a particular Raymond Pettibon zine that I’ve never been able to locate; some of Chris Ware’s early self published comics. I would love to get my hands on the first 3 issues of the original Purple Fashion magazines from the late 90's. My wish list is huge, a combination of stuff I can’t afford and stuff I can’t find. And it really crosses all my interests.

9. How do you envision the future of comics/art collectibles as we enter into the digital age? Do you envision changes in the distant future?

I think digital technology is both good and bad for comics, as it is for any printed media. I think it’s good in the sense that it allows more talented people to produce quality works. Unfortunately, it’s bad for the same reason. There are a lot of hacks out there who are able to produce mediocre and poor work and put it out there, essentially muddying the field and making it difficult to find the quality stuff. In the end, I think it will probably do more harm than good and will end up eventually maiming the printed media. I don’t want to say kill, because there will always be people like myself who have the utmost respect for printed matter. There are website and organizations devoted to preserving and discussing printed matter. I love it and others do as well. I love the feel of it, the tangibility to it. It’s comfortable and organic. I don’t want to read off my screen. I already spend way too much time in front of a computer screen. I don’t want to be forced to use it for even more of my recreational time. On top of that, art and photography just doesn’t look the same on the computer screen as it does in person or in printed form. But there is no getting around it, eventually, and I mean well into the future, it will essentially replace the printed media in many ways. More and more comics are being produced strictly for the internet, including some from the big publishers. And the audience for it is growing. On the other hand, I think it’s going to make printed matter and collectibles of today and yesterday that much more valuable. And I think this especially applies to magazines. I feel as collectibles, magazines are extremely undervalued. They’ve never been collected, since they’ve always been regarded as disposable. Not any more. These days many wonderful magazines are produced with such care in design, quality of printing and beautiful content, that it’s impossible to toss them out. But because there is no back issue market for them (other than eBay), they’re still not considered collectible. That will change. Magazines will be the next collectible items. Even now you can see how much old Dutch magazines are going for. And old issues of Face, ID, Italian Vogue, Purple, Self Service, Pop are extremely tough to find. They may still be affordable if you do locate them, but that’s no easy task. Anyway, as digital technology advances and more people have access to the internet, these beautiful products of the printed age will be highly sought after. Mark my words.

10. What does your family think about your collecting, especially your young son? Where do you store your comics/art collection?

Well, my son is 15 months, so he really has very little opinion on the matter, though he seems to love going after my stuff with his peanut buttery hands. So maybe he approves after all. My wife is obviously very unhappy with my collecting ways. If she didn’t have the tolerance of a saint, I would have been hacked up in my sleep a long time ago. She’s not happy, but she knew what she was getting herself into. My stuff wasn’t hidden. There aren’t enough closets in Manhattan to hide my stuff. So she was aware of my “sickness” and has put up with it. I get horrible glares every time I bring stuff into the house and truthfully, I’ve become more selective with my purchases and have cut down significantly, both for financial reasons and lack of space.

As for storing my art, the stuff is everywhere. Every closet, tons of bookshelves, on the floor, under the bed, in the corners, in the baby’s crib (just kidding). It’s a problem and we need to move into a bigger place, which will hopefully happen very soon. But, in all honesty, the stuff I have she does appreciate and enjoys it. I’ve turned her onto comic books, she appreciates art and she goes through some of my books and magazines. She just can’t deal with the volume. My parents, brother and most of my friend just think I’m a weirdo. I don’t disagree.

11. Bonus Question: Your motto in life in relation to your love of collecting.

Honesty, I don’t see my collecting as a positive thing. It’s an obsession. I’ve fantasized about unburdening myself of all my stuff and having nothing to my name. That being said, I’ve taken my OCD and turned it into a hobby I’m proud of. I live and breathe this stuff. But I don’t think it is healthy to be that obsessive about anything. Frankly, I see it as an addiction. It’s a drug. And addiction is bad. So remember kids, don’t do drugs. Hey that’s a motto, right?

My Favorite Things...

This is in no particular order. Just some of my favorite items.

Not necessarily my most valuable, but the ones that are the most meaningful for me.


This was the first comic book I ever purchased and really got things rolling. It had this beautiful cover by Charles Vess. And it was a terrific story by Louise Simonson. I was hooked.


This is the book that got me addicted to eBay. It was published in conjunction with a Berlin exhibit that featured outtakes from Terry’s Sisley campaigns over the years. I guess the concept was images that were too racy to feature in the campaigns. I never did find this book on eBay, but found it accidentally on some German website offered by an individual. I ended up paying $20 including shipping. It was a pain in the ass to get and I had to recruit one of my German models, but I finally got it.


I first came across this book when I first started representing Donald Cumming. He was on the cover and he brought it in to see if we can use it for his book. I didn’t want to tear it up, because Ryan was his friend and it was signed and personalized. But I found a copy at some used book store (Strand maybe) for $10. And I ripped it up so that we could make copies for Donald’s book. What an idiot. Ryan became a superstar and the book ended up costing a fortune. I eventually found a mint copy of it and spent way more than $10, let me tell you. It’s still one of my favorite books by one of my favorite artists.


Aside from Daniel Peddle being a very good friend of mine, I’m a huge fan of his work, all his works. The guy is a renaissance man and is proficient in most arts, photography, painting, writing, documentary, design. Anyway, for my 2nd anniversary, I commissioned him to do a portrait of my very pregnant wife. He did it in his signature “rippings” style.


One of my absolute favorite artists is Chris Ware. I really never thought I would be able to get one of his pieces, as his originals have become unbelievably expensive. But a little creative deal making involving 2 other collectors and I was able to pull it off. I’m still amazed that I have it in my collection.


I have a few pieces by James Jean and while my favorite piece is this awesome preliminary sketch he did for a cover that was never used, I did manage to get my hands on this painting he did as the cover of Fables #55. James went on to illustrate the Prada Spring/Summer 2008 campaign, bags and store and had his first solo show at the Jonathan Levine gallery the same year, which completely sold out.


This is just an important comic. The longest running independent comic of all time and one of the greatest achievements in comic book history. A self-published 300 issue/6000 page epic comic covering the life, loves and death of an aardvark barbarian all written and illustrated by one person, Dave Sim, with some help with the background art, and produced on a monthly basis for 27 years. Dave Sim used this comic as vehicle to discuss love, religion, politics, art and people, all while parodying dozens of comic and film characters. It was at times bizarre, often controversial, but never less than brilliant and a feat that will never be repeated. This comic started it all. It’s a historic comic book.


May be one of the least "valuable" pieces I own, but one of the most meaningful to me. It was from a mini comic called Broken Fender. When I came across this one page story in the comic, I just thought it was one of the most poignant, poetic, little statements I’ve come across in comics. I just fell in love with it. I contacted the artist, whose information was in the book and asked him if he still had the piece and if he was willing to sell it. Amazingly he did and was. I will be forever grateful. It was the first piece of original comic art I’ve ever purchased and may very well be the first piece of art I’ve ever bought. And it’s still one of my favorites.


This was the first limited edition book I’d ever bought and I got it on a whim. I read the entire story serialized in the Eightball comic and when I spotted the hardcover, it had been discounted. I just thought it was a pretty cool item, with its signed and numbered plate by Daniel Clowes. I put it away and didn’t think about it. I hadn’t made a habit of buying other limited edition hardcovers. In fact, even after the film came out, I had forgotten that I even had it. Then I stumbled into a store in LA and saw it in a glass case priced at $1000 and I had just about lost my mind. I couldn’t wait to get home to see if I still have it. Luckily I found it and it was in beautiful shape. It really made me focus my attention on these types of books. And now, I’ve got quite a collection of them. Of course, they’re not all worth as much, but they’re a beautiful respectful way of collecting worthy stories and projects.


I’m shy of 2 issues from having the entire 40 issue run of Dutch Magazine. Dutch is my all time favorite magazine. It was way ahead of it’s time and influenced the majority of the quality magazines out today, including Purple/Purple Fashion, Self Service, Pop, 10 and every other magazine in the same vein. Some of the issues were pure genius, the rest were, without a doubt, the best magazine in their respective months. No one came close to its quality, both in content and design.

Note: This was an incredibly difficult list to compile, as there are so many items that are dear to me and/or substantially more valuable that I was unable to include such as items by Robert Crumb, original art by Paul Pope, Eddie Campbell, Dave Cooper, Kent Williams, Al Columbia and Alex Ross. But I had to choose items that really defined me and the collection and I think this is a fair representation of that. The Chris Ware and James Jean pieces are probably the most valuable items in my collection, but the rest of the items are just very personal and had a profound affect on me.

Special thanks to Gene Kogan & Henry Hargreaves for their time, enthusiasm and support from the word "Go".