Marie Myrhoj Jensen
Glasshouse Street, London
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September 2012: the first time I’d travelled to Paris to shoot street style during Fashion Week. In many ways, it was the most fulfilling week I’d ever had covering covering Fashion Week. Lord Ashbury was barely nine months old; in less than a year I’d taken what was an ambitious hobby on the streets of New York to Europe, and the fashion capitol of the world. The first time I’d walked onto the grounds of Tuileries was at dusk just before the start of a Nina Ricci runway show. I had no invitations back then, no backstage passes, no magazine commissions; I paid my way to get there, and why the prospect of selling a photo or two to an outlet was at the time a nice dream, my main objective was simply to take the very best pictures that I could, and return home with an upgraded portfolio. No expectations, just a beautiful city, beautiful fashion and a non-professional camera with a manual lens constructed in 1968.
One of the defining aspects of that week was the realisation of photographing many of the editors and notable bloggers who stay atop the Google street style rankings index. It was different here, because in New York it hadn’t yet occurred to me that some people were more important to photograph than others, and in London, while the event was still home-based at Somerset (the greatest Fashion Week venue of all time), the setting itself allowed for such amazing photos that it didn’t matter who you shot there (though, the truly notable were hard to come by at Somerset, but again, I didn’t know this yet). In Paris, at places like Tuileries and Le Grand Palais, everything was wide open. It was at Le Grand Palais that I photographed Marie Myrhoj Jensen for the very first time.
I thought she was a bit of an odd bird, for no other reason than perhaps her shyness and a Danish aesthetic that had not yet stormed to the forefront of mainstream consciousness. But then about two or three seasons ago, I found myself in Le Marais with three other colleagues who simply wanted to escape what was amounting to be an emotionally fraught and aggressive week. It was at this early dinner that I got to know Marie for real and came to understand just how wonderful she is — truly one of the most genuinely nice souls I’ve ever met via this industry. It was during that time that I also rediscovered how exceptional she was to photograph; something that can easily be missed when you take five seconds to snap somebody. These days, I like to seek her out when I can, when we’re in the same city at the same time at least, and I can say that the things that make her unique are the kinds of things that break up the monotony of shooting the same exhausted faces week after week, twice a year.