by Fabiana Santana
Craig Arend sees fashion differently than most of us. Craig is the creator of AltamiraNYC, a fashion blog that documents the most stylish from models to editors and everyone in between through the lens of his Canon 5D, and he hopes to change the fashion world for the better because of it.
“Right now girls are encouraged not to dress up for castings. They just go with jeans and a shirt with their heels in their bag. I hope to impact the industry to change that,” says Craig. He is one of many photographers on the street taking these kinds of pictures, but this man knows fashion. That is what sets him apart from the rest. He knows what the models are wearing—he spotted Anna Schilling’s Christian Louboutin spiked ballet flats for this photo—and who they are wearing it for. The captions on his blog not only document the models’ outfits, but also their recent runway walks and campaigns. “I know what they do. I know their world.” It seems like Craig and this world are a natural fit—he has the ability to capture not only the candid street style moments of the girls, but also their spirit. It is not unlikely for a girl to abandon her rehearsed pose for a spin in the air or a karate kick.
But it was an accident that led Craig to where he is today. “It all started a few years ago in Paris. I saw this amazingly stylish couple. They were just so stylish. And they had this dog and even the dog was stylish. I had a little point and shoot then, and just took their picture.” Craig has never stopped taking pictures, but these days he takes them for the likes of Style.com, Teen Vogue, and German Elle. In fact, on the morning of our meeting a German television crew was waiting to document his day. So wherever that couple and their shar-pei are, thank you for inspiring Craig to find his true calling.
How do you get the models to stop?
It helps that I know their name. I just calmly get their attention. I try not to hang around with the paparazzi during Fashion Week, too.
What style do you like best?
I like the androgynous style. I love girls who can wear that unisex look and wear it well.
Who is your style icon?
[Pauses] Kate Moss. I love her style. I would wear the clothes she wears.
Who would you love to photograph?
[Another pause] Agyness Deyn in some kind of motion or movement. Just Agyness being Agyness and letting her electric personality come through.
Do models dress better off duty during Fashion Week than they normally do?
Which model has the best style?
Dree Hemingway or Ali Michael. Ali has amazing style. She can really do the monochromatic look well.
What is your Fashion Week uniform?
Jeans, black blazer, and a T-shirt. Very unisex and androgynous.