Kobe Bryant's all-white and heavily Photoshopped fashion editorial for the Sunday Los Angeles Times Magazine has elicited a largely visceral and mocking reaction. That's okay, explains stylist James Valeri. We were going for an "iconic" look.
"The scarf picture and the hat picture were more to create an iconic image. When you do a portrait, you do think of the styling in how they're going to be different and how they're going to stand out. In 10 years time, or five years time, there has to be something particular or strange or different that will stand out. That image will stay in your mind. That's how it's going to become iconic. ... A lot of people aren't used to that, so when iconic pictures come out, they're disturbing, insulting, fascinating, it has a strong feeling attached to it, good or bad."
"I didn't want to use accessories that would look too retro. Let's do it in a cool, young way because that's what Kobe is. He's a cool, young and successful athlete. I wanted to give a modern approach. I was thinking of [rapper] Tupac [Shakur] where I put a band underneath in the hat to make it look hip-hop, but ... it translates in a surreal look where it creates a strong image. It was something that hasn't been done before. It's mixing the inspiration of Tupac and a gentleman with a white hat ... a mix of a hip-hop and a conservative look."
On the plus side: Valeri says the on-the-court basketball diva was no diva behind-the-scenes. Kobe was the "perfect gentlemen" and they spoke Italian on the set.
Read the photo-by-photo explanation ...
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