FAULT Focus: International Designer Sophie Zinga

 

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What was your primary inspiration when you started the Sophie Zinga label?

When I first launched the line my primary inspiration came from my country, Senegal. I remember sourcing fabrics and creating intricate designs with Senegalese hand woven fabrics.

How would you describe the brand in 3 words?

Feminine. Classic. Minimal.

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Congratulations on your first show at Paris Fashion Week! You displayed your AW’14-15 collection – what/who were the main influences behind that (if any)?

Thank you. Even though New York is my base and it’s an untraditional approach, I think my international fan base appreciated it. I think it was important to show in Paris, which is the original fashion capital of the world.

Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?

Yes my favourite piece is the gold metallic lame dress. It is glamorous silk metallic lame but at the same time keeps Sophie Zinga’s minimal quality and focus on lavish fabrics and clean lines.

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You have such a cosmopolitan background – from Dakar (Senegal) to New York via Paris and Lagos – how do these disparate influences manifest themselves in your designs?

It comes naturally. Sophie Zinga is named after myself so it reflects parts of personality, my reality and myself, which translates into my designs.

Can you tell us about some of the unique features of the label?

The label is 100% made in Senegal (West Africa).

We love Animals. No real fur policy.

We only use silks, brocades or hand woven fabrics.

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Is there a particular process you follow when designing?

I travel a lot. My parents travel a lot so I get a lot of my inspiration from traveling or from my parents’ trips. My mother is a great storyteller so she has an amazing way of giving people details about her trips that makes you feel like you were there. Other than that, it starts with sketches in my red little to-go red book I keep with me at all times. Picking out fabrics is my favourite part! I sometimes source fabrics depending on how I’m feeling.

You describe the label as “socially conscious”. Could you expand on that?

When I first thought about creating the label, giving back and creating jobs in West Africa was my biggest motivation. I have a background in development and economics and I’ve extensively volunteered and worked in development issues regarding Africa so naturally I always wanted to incorporate that in the label’s DNA. I made the conscious move of keeping the manufacturing done in 100% in West Africa. I am currently working with different multinational entities to improve to livelihoods women and girls and to give workers from disadvantaged communities the opportunities to have a dignified job in fashion, which in return benefits the whole community.

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Who would be your dream client to design for/work with?

Lupita Nyongo. She perfectly nails the essence of style in an effortless way, without trying too hard. Angelina Jolie would be an amazing client as well. She can do no wrong on the red carpet.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my Spring/Summer 15 collection, which is going to be the most extensive collection yet to date. Excitement is an understatement!

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What are your plans to expand the line?

I would love to expand the line and ultimately create a diffusion line 5 years down the road. In 2016 I plan on developing accessories.

What is your FAULT?

Procrastinating. LOL.

 

Images: Ibra Ake; Mambu Bayoh

Art Attack! Rachell Smith’s FAULT

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Dress Paule Ka
Necklace Vicki Sarge

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Necklace from Mawi
Bralet and trousers from Fyodor Golan
Shoes Sophia Webster

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dress Tata-Naka
Shoes Miu Miu
Heart shape sunglasses from Jeremy Scott for Linda Farrow

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Top and skirt from Peter Pilotto
Bangle from Alexander Mcqueen @ Harvey Nichols
Shoes Vivienne Westwood

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Coat from Prada

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Full look from Prada

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Full look from Miu Miu

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Dress by Jil Sander

Photographer: Rachell Smith
Stylist: Alexandria Reid @ Frank Agency
Makeup: Harriet Hadfield Using MAC
Hair: Aaron Carlo @ Frank Agency

FAULT checks out pop-up dining event BE at Buckley’s – or “Why living in London might not kill you after all”

Over the past few days, we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been told that living in London is killing us. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good old-fashioned sensationalist headline as much as the next set of writers who have lost all faith in any continuing concept of journalistic integrity. That said, these things do become rather depressing after a while.

In case you were wondering, smog is apparently the big killer in London nowadays. Welcome back to Dickensian Britain folks: can I interest any of you in a Tale of Two Cities? In one of them you’re going to die from fatal asthma/bronchitis/TB/sustained exposure to fatuous pseudo-scientific commentary; the other is not called London.

Still, it’s not all bad here. Luckily for the FAULT team, our mutual friend over at Lux & Noah has kindly dropped us an invitation to an event that a) looks like a lot of fun and b) might actually improve your quality of life.

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BE at Buckley’s is the new monthly pop-up dining event taking place at Mr Buckley’s Restaurant, 227 Hackney Road. The event is a culinary collaboration between the restaurant, chef Daryll Wilson and Tasha Bermingham (aka Tashe/BE), a highly regarded young health and well-being practitioner.

Serendipitously, the upcoming BE at Buckley’s events seem perfectly suited to the current climate, with the invitation declaring the dinners on the 15th and 22nd of April to have been influenced by “the pre-industrial way of eating”.

With dishes on offer including a Ceviche of Seabass and the intriguingly named ‘Sutton Hoo chicken two ways’, this three course meal looks to be an absolute feast – although we still wouldn’t bet against some of us holding out our bowls and asking for some more. A selection of freshly pressed juices, cocktails and bio-dynamic wines are also available for purchase on the night.

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Menu for BE at Buckley’s pop-up dining event (April ’14)

Priced at just £35/head, BE at Buckley’s is unlikely to result in too many of you falling on hard times. Quite the opposite, in fact: just looking at the menu, which is free from gluten, grains, sugar, hydrogenated oils, and pasteurised dairy, makes us feel healthy without the usual high cost – both to one’s bank account and one’s taste buds.

Sensationalism aside, tickets are selling fast – we know because we’ve already gobbled up two of them for the 22nd – so be sure to pre-order yours now via Mr Buckley’s:

Mr Buckley’s
277 Hackney Rd
London E2 8NA

Web: www.mrbuckleys.com
Tel: 0203 664 0033

 

Words: Nicholas Nickleby
Sketches by Boz

FAULT Focus: Russian rockers Mumiy Troll

At a time when Russia is making global headlines for all the wrong reasons, it is important to remember that, amidst all the wide-reaching political machinations and life changing military decisions, there are still people in every country with a story to tell.

With that in mind, FAULT was privileged to be able to speak to one of the one of the most influential voices in contemporary Russian popular culture – Mumiy Troll‘s Ilya Lugutenko. Since starting the band in 1983, Ilya – raised in Russia’s Far Eastern port of Vladivostok (on the Sea of Japan) – has shaped the face of a generation. Mumiy Troll is as popular in Russia now as it has ever been. In total, they have released 16 albums over a period of almost 30 years. After initially serving in the Russian Air Navy, Lugatenko speaks Mandarin, has worked in both China and the UK, featured in the globally popular cult film ‘Night Watch’, recently started his own music festival and is an outspoken supporter for ecological conservation. Mumiy Troll were also one of the first musical acts to support the activities of PSI organization fighting AIDS in Russia.

It is a cosmopolitan story from a driven, complex and, above all, creative character. If nothing else, it is a pleasure to be able to take a step back to focus on an individual – their passions, achievements and creative spirit – rather than on the collective judgments of an entire nation.

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FAULT: In 2012, you released your very first album in English entitled Vladivostok. Could you tell us a little more about the meaning of your single ‘Love Contraband’, which also appears on that album?

ILYA: These days Russia is usually associated with vodka, spies or oil fortunes …not even ballet anymore. I guess a Russian rock band is still not a very legit term for most westerners… I have a really simple message here – we love to write and perform good songs and would love to share them with as many people as possible.

Your songs sound like a romantic declaration to the world… can you tell us from where do you draw this romanticism?

I hate to hate anything. I would love to be able to love every single thing on the planet and beyond. I know it’s not easy. I know it is almost impossible but I am still trying to be “the Poet and not a Revolutionary”. I came from a little town on the sea, which happened to be major Russian navy base on the Pacific. I never wanted to jump on the Trans Siberian train. I was more curious about what was behind the ocean’s horizon.

In 2012, you decided to release your first ever album in English [Vladivostok] – why?

I’ve never won a lottery. I’m a bad gambler. It took me quite a lot of hard work to prove to myself that my writing and performance abilities had the potential to expand beyond my hometown. We never had a major recording deal and our international touring experience grew very gradually – limited by the band’s own resources and aspirations.

This album is not really an experiment. It just shows the current state of where the band is at in this moment. It’s a mixture of our life experiences forged with a rather universal rock sound.

Our very good friend and owner of The Village Studios in Los Angeles, Jeff Greenberg, has pushed the idea of making an English language record – he once heard us recording our Russian material at his studio. After falling crazy for it he kept on us… saying, “Guys, this has to be heard in English”. It took us few years to came up with an album and finally we arrived at Vladivostok.

The album presents Mumiy Troll’s spirit to people who do not understand Russian. It is named after our home city where I and most of the band members grew up. MumiyTrollWebsite_09

How has living in Vladivostok influenced your music (if at all)?

It has influenced in many ways. All of our songs have something to do with the Ocean and being from Vladivostok. You can understand that. I have even written a song named Vladivostok Vacation. In Russian it’s called Vladivostok 2000 which has put the city on the map in Russia in a way. It has actually been quoted that this song did more for the city in terms of promotion than anything the government has ever done (which only used to be stereotyped before as a place for drunken sailors and lots of crime on every level). I always believed Vladivostok to be a place to Rock. Being almost 10 hours flight away from Moscow and 3 hours drive from China certainly affects your identity. I grew up to be an alien to my countrymen in general and to world music tastes in particular.

In your book, My Eastyou recalled that Khrushchev predicted in the year 2000, Vladivostok would become Russia’s San Francisco. Do you believe his successors succeeded in this?

That’s still only in our dreams. I have also co-written a fiction novel named Vladivostok 3000 which describes my vision of how the city could be in a totally different dimension. However, whatever the public criticism of the APEC summit, etc., I sincerely welcome and support all changes including new bridges and a new university into my hometown. My own graduation was in Chinese History and Economics and I remember discussing the futuristic visions of Vladivostok back in my student years. I never believed in the industrial revolution in the area but I was sure that it could be an Educational and Entertainment centre fed by the biggest Port on the Russian Pacific.

For a few years I was obsessed with the idea to stage a Pacific Rock Festival in Vladivostok where bands and artist from Siberia, China, Korea and the rest of Australasia would meet annually. However, the local government is still thinking of different priorities with their agendas (ed: see below – VROX Festival is now up and running).

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Where was your first performance abroad as Mumiy Troll?

North of Japan we played a festival. It felt like home as it is very similar to Vladivostok weather wise. Also, Greenland where nobody had heard of us and they never really had rock bands come over to play a gig then. It was truly a memorable experience.

Who is your greatest musical inspiration?

Characters who can make it on their own terms. It does not relate to particular music styles and they are maybe not the biggest acts on the planet – probably more of those who can explore, change, unite different cultures without compromising pop sensibility… Ryuhci Sakamoto or David Bowie for instance…

You have sung your songs in Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and English, what is next?

Good question. By the way, I also did versions of our songs in Ukrainian and Latvian, though as of yet they have never been released… It’s simply life experiments to see how it feels. I’d like to try Portuguese. Sounds funny but Portuguese and Russian have so many similar sounds which is kinda tough to pronounce for any others in the world.  

One of the things that we find most interesting is your support of AMUR (named after the Amur tiger). What is your goal with the AMUR project and why have you been so supportive of it?

The Amur tiger is a symbol of the area in the Far East that I come from. I was introduced to the head of the AMUR fund in London and was asked to help with some public awareness projects which gradually developed into quite a mission. Ten years later I [found] myself launching an idea. [It was] an international charity music/ball event, Saving the Tigers, which ended up being a part of an important International Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg – we not only had Vladimir Putin and Heads of States of the13 so-called “Tiger countries”, but also celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio. He personally donated a large sum of money to the cause and Naomi Campbell co-hosted the event with me. I compare Tigers to Independent music – rare, hard to survive, but brave and beautiful.

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What were your expectations for this year while touring in the US and the UK, and has performing there been what you anticipated?

To reach out to non-Russian speaking communities we do not have any media resources behind us. So, the only way is to physically go their and play. For me, it’s a big privilege to perform in front of people no matter where and no matter to how many. One day could see us performing to 10,000 hardcore fans in Russia and the next day in a small club in a ghost town of Pontiac to couple dozen people who just came to see us out of curiosity.

Does fashion play any role in how you wish to portray your band’s musical style?

I always thought that music and fashion should walk together. However, I’ve never paid too much attention to what happens in the fashion world. I guess, like in music, I’d prefer things which never get out of fashion… I’d prefer to set the trend unintentionally instead of follow any.

‘Flow Away’ – Mumiy Troll – March ’14

Do you have any favorite fashion designers?

My good friends from Britain – Bolongaro Trevor (who were the original designers of All Saints). Also, Arsenicum, the Russian brand by Dima Loginov who is a great example how our music really influence people to do things – standing out from the usual crowd by being very stylish and an instant classic.

And finally, as you travel from country to country, how would you define success?

By seeing results. You have to work hard for them and you have to work hard to be successful… to have genuine enthusiasm, passion and energy – and not to be so afraid of failure that it stops you trying. Because in the end, you learn from mistakes in order to keep going forward. That’s what Iv’e always done. That’s what I will continue to do. Keep moving.

What is your FAULT?

I trust people too much.

In August 2013, Ilya welcomed musicians, artists, and creative talents around the world to join him at the inaugural VROX Festival  in Ilya’s hometown of Vladivostok, Russia.

In Spring 2014, Mumiy Troll will be releasing their second ever album in English, following the release of their first English-speaking album entitled Valdivostok. While Vladivostok was recorded in Los Angeles with highly regarded producers Joe Chiccarelli and Mike Clink, the new album was recorded around the world while the group took part in a global sailing voyage and again attracted the attention of top producers: Ben Hillier (Depeche Mode) Simon Gogerly (U2) Greg Brimson (Eminem) and Keefus Ciancia (T bone Burnett).

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Upcoming Tour dates:
Liverpool, UK - Sound City Festival - May 1 
Vladivostok, Russia – V-Rox Festival - 29 August
Shanghai, China – MIDI Festival - Oct 1
 For more information, visit: mumiytroll.com

 

Creative Director / Photographer: Adrenus Craton
Interview by Adrenus Craton & Victor Savkin
Model: Charlie Melchiori – Novelmodels
Elite Hair: Michael Marenco  (sponsored by Label M)
Makeup: Cathy Widawska
Styling: Gillian Phelan
Film Director: Giovanni Fumu
Lighting Direction: Francois Dupont & Olivier Herold
Location: Chiswick House and Gardens
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Mumiy Troll Team Bolongaro Trevor London Victor Savkin Cato Music Creative Door Studios Paris Biondini Champs Élysées Givenchy Homme
MENSWEAR Bolongaro Treavor Avelon 22_4 Hommes Femmes by Stephanie Hahn Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Glenn Martens Nanthalat
WOMENSWEAR Arsenicum Cassadei Gerbe
Introduction: Nick Artsruni

FAULT Favourites Band of Skulls release third album, ‘Himalayan’

 

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FAULT first spoke to lead singer and bassist Emma Richardson  back in 2011 to discuss the release of their breakthrough second album, Sweet Sour for FAULT Issue 10: the Legacy Issue. From their early days touring as Fleeing New York in the late noughties, we knew that this was a band to watch, one that would stand the test of time. Here’s what we wrote about them back then:

From their relatively recent incipience in 2008, the female fronted, blues heavy, old fashioned raw and ready rock outfit are perhaps rivalled only by the Black Keys, both in terms of their ‘old school’ guitar-heavy style and their similarly meteoric rise to fame. In one dazzling swoop, these groups have utterly dismissed that old (circa 2006) adage that ‘guitar music is dead’ – with Emma Richardson, Russell Marsden and Matt Hayward doing so in particularly impressive style. The Brits have been ‘cracking the US’ in such an accomplished fashion that they have drawn comparisons from some quarters to rock legends Led Zeppelin. With their pulverizing basslines and soaring – yet oddly searing – vocals, Band of Skulls are a firm FAULT Favourite.

Now, three years later, we were pleased to get a chance to catch up with drummer Matt Hayward about the highly anticipated release of their third album, the brilliantly constructed Himalayan.

 

Welcome back to FAULT! How are you feeling about the new album?

Matt: We’re really proud of the record that we’ve come up with and we’re feeling really good about it. It’s been quite frustrating because we finished it at the end of last summer so we’ve had it in our hands for quite a while now but it’s finally upon us now so we’re very excited!

How does the new album differ from your last two?

We’ve said is that it kind of takes elements from the last two albums and makes a record out of that. Whilst we were writing and recording the last two albums we isolated ourselves out in the countryside in an old farmhouse and this time we decided to go in to central London and I think that definitely rubs off on the record. There’s an energy about being in London which is great, we were going in every day and then being able to leave the studio too which gives you a lot more objectivity about things, you can listen to your demos on the train home and all these little things which we never had before so I think that played a big part in the sound of it.

Do you have any favourites or standout tracks on the new album?

It chops and changes, it always changes by night really. It’s interesting that a lot of it is down to crowd responses, it’s funny the ones that you get different reactions from and not always reactions you were expecting. At the moment, we’re just really excited to play any of it really, it’s been such a long time we’re just itching to get going.

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Band of Skulls shot by Annick Wolfers for FAULT Issue 10

When we spoke about your last album you cited The Beatles, Neil Young and Bob Dylan as influencers, are these still relevant to the new album or have you found inspiration elsewhere?

We have a pretty strong rule in the studio that we don’t play a lot of current music whilst we’re recording because we’re keen not to have anything influence us too heavily.

We listen to a bunch of different stuff, there’s definitely a glam element to this record. When we got in to the studio we hung out for a few days with our producer Nick Launay and played our favourite records, there was definitely a theme of T-Rex swagger, and everyone bringing in Prince albums.

When you’re piecing songs together, creating new music do you envisage an ideal setting in which it will be played back? Where would you like your music to be heard?

For me, my favourite time is listening to music is on aeroplanes. I get a real kick out of it, that excitement and nervousness of travelling. You’re on your way to somewhere and to have a soundtrack to that sort of emotion is quite similar to playing shows in a way, it’s exciting it’s nerve-wracking, and full of adrenaline all of those wonderful things. If I could pick a place for anyone to listen to this record it would be getting a flight somewhere.

Are you thinking about playing the album out live whilst recording and writing?

Yeah definitely but we try and keep the two things very separate. We like to thing that making a record is like taking a photograph. It’s taking a photo of where you are at and what you’ve been coming up with of. At the moment we’re at the rehearsal studios piecing together how we want to do things live and it inevitably changes quite a lot which we really like. For us, going to see a band and they just sound like the records is not so exciting, it hasn’t got that element of danger to it.

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Photography: Annick Wolfers for FAULT Issue 10

Can you see another live album in the future?

Yes, hopefully a little bit further down the road of touring so we’re a bit more warmed up. Also we recently did an acoustic show last week which we hadn’t really done before. We do quite a bit of acoustic stuff for radio but we’d never done a show before. It was just something completely new, we had a string quartet and with us having never played with any other musicians but ourselves it was really strange but there’s definitely talk of doing something like that again on a bigger scale.

Speaking of working with other musicians, how do you feel about collaborations, is there anybody you could see yourselves working with?

We’ve never really talked about collaborating with other musicians, it’s never been put in front of us so we’ve never really thought about it but I’m sure it would be really interesting. It’s not particularly on our list of things to do. But if an offer came up then yeah sure, if Prince gives us a call then by all means…

What does the rest of 2014 hold for you?

It’s just relentless touring in front of us now. Next week we’re off to America then coming back to do some UK shows and then Europe, after that it’s back to the States and then Australia… we’ll be heading back in time to hit festival season which will be really exciting. So yeah there will be a whole lot of living out of suitcases.

Final question, what is your FAULT?

There’s no way to win this one! If I don’t say anything then it sounds like we’re just perfect… I guess we’re bad sons and daughters to our parents because we don’t see them enough as we should. Yeah we’re bad kids, we’re always gallivanting…

Himalayan is out now

Interview by Louis Sheridan

Fresh Face Gangster – Marco Huelsebus’ FAULT

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Leather Jacket: Stylist’s own
T-shirt: H & M
Jeans: Rich & Royal
Shoes: Palladium
Chain: Mango

 

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White tank top: H & M
Black Tank Top: Tibi
Shorts: H & M
Sunglasses: Marc Jacobs

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Shirt: Mango
Bustier Top: Weekday S / he
Choker: Mango
Sunglasses: Saint Laurent

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Overall: s.Oliver
Tank Top: Zara
Leather Jacket: G-Star
Coat: G-Star
Shorts: Puma
Trainers: Kanga Roos

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Sweater: Tibi
Shirt: Selected Homme
Shorts: Weekday S / he
Leggings: Hudson
Shoes: Camper X Bernhard Willhelm
Headphone: Soul by Ludacris

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Dress: French Connection
Polo: Lacoste
Bomber Jacket: Tiger of Sweden
Chain: Yusimi

Photography: Diana Diederich www. Diana-diederich.com
Production/ hair + make up: Marco Huelsebus using Chanel & Kevin Murphy
Styling: Chris A. Blazer
Model: Karen Babenko @ Modelwerk
Photo assistant: Annika Hirsch

‘Two Heads are Better than One’ – Oscar Alexander’s FAULT

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Photography: Woland
Hair: OscarAlexander @ ERA Management using Fudge
Makeup: Natasha Lakic using MAC
Models: Kit @ & Ieva @ Elite London
Photographers assistant: Dan Korkelia

Mac Miller & Dylan Reynolds: Behind the Scenes video from our exclusive FAULT Issue 17 shoot

 

 

Video courtesy of Bryant Robinson/Three Way Productions

 

Music: ‘Spanish Civil War’ by Dylan Reynolds

Mac Miller and Dylan Reynolds were shot exclusively for FAULT Issue 17 by photographer Danny Williams (Topshelf Jr), with styling by Luke Storey (School of Style). The shoot took place at Mac’s house in LA, with most of the Behind the Scenes footage above shot in Mac’s private studio. Mac Miller is one of the most popular rap/hip-hop artists in world music today, with two studio albums which reached #1 and #3 in the US charts. Dylan Reynolds is signed to Mac’s REMember label. The pair grew up together in Pittsburgh, PA.

 

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Mac Miller & Dylan Reynolds were shot at Mac’s private studio in LA by photographer Danny Williams (Topshelf Jr), with styling by Luke Storey (School of Style), exclusively for FAULT Issue 17
Click here to order your copy of this issue!

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 17 (WINTER 2012-13) – THE OTHER ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER HERE NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40