If like me, you’ve been following Joe Ha’s ‘The Finery Company‘ on Instagram for unrivalled men’s style inspiration, you may have noticed that somewhere around the beginning of 2017, his images started getting unexplainably beautiful. A raw, authentic and effortless aesthetic burst onto his feed (not that Joe himself wasn’t effortlessly stylish, to begin with). But perhaps what made the images so intriguing was the juxtaposition of the classically tailored Joe captured in gritty but soft focus, low aperture frames, off centre and unstaged, as if the photographer just wasn’t there.
As someone who takes photos, I realised that it was the exact style I wanted to emulate in my shots – a style myself and many others have come to adore, and seek, through the talented eye that is The Kyu. The gifted Korean forged a relationship with Joe while working with his Sister in her shirting business Steady State, which Joe once retailed in Sydney. Photographing one of Australia’s most stylish men, naturally, rubs off and over the past 24 months, Kyu Ahn has published a portfolio of images that showcase the absolute pinnacle and who’s who of men’s style across the world.
I was so enamoured of his look that I organised The Kyu to shoot myself and Steve Calder in 2017 and have since watched and admired his development as not just one of the most genuine street style photographers in the game, but an arbiter of real style. He cuts through the plethora of shit, snapping the guys who should be snapped, not the peacock wannabes.
I bumped into the man himself shortly after his return from January’s Pitti Uomo, and asked him to share some thoughts about his photography alongside a handful of his favourite shots from the tradeshow, timed perfectly for our impending winter.
The subject is 90% I would say. It’s a simple philosophy but one that explains my selfless approach to photography. When I click the shutter, I want the audience to forget that I’m there. What’s important to me is that we appreciate the person in frame: stylish, natural, unpretentious.
I rarely ask my subjects to pose as I prefer to capture them in the wild. And even if I do direct my subjects, it’s as short as “stand here,” “walk there,” “look here.” Then I take the photo. No spectacle. No filter. No bullshit.
What I want to do is showcase legitimate and timeless menswear, in an effort to provide aspiration and direction to assist guys dressing day to day.
If you’re looking for visual inspiration from the world’s foremost authorities on men’s style, enjoy James Harvey-Kelly’s work for Drake’s or just real honest original photography, you’ll find The Kyu’s imagery captivating and perhaps groundbreaking. I know I do.
Be sure to keep an eye on @The Kyu (pictured left) and enjoy a selection of his finest January Pitti Uomo shots capturing the very best Winter men’s style.