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The BoF Podcast: Ibrahim Kamara on Photography as a Powerful Force for Change

The renowned stylist and fashion director talks to BoF’s Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks about his time creating under lockdown.
Ibrahim Kamara | Photo: Kristin-Lee Moolman
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LONDON, United Kingdom — Quarantine hasn’t stopped stylist and art director Ibrahim Kamara from creating. Although he is unable to work on the fantastical fashion visuals he’s become renowned for, the time spent in his London home is nonetheless far from wasted. “I might not be able to achieve my dreams right now, but I can write them and make a note of them,” Kamara told BoF’s Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks in the latest episode of the BoF Podcast.

Born in Sierra Leone, Kamara moved to London in his early teens. He has since worked with some of fashion's biggest names, including Stella McCartney, Fenty and Hermès as well as publications including British Vogue, Love and AnOther. During lockdown, Kamara and Blanks touched base to talk about photography as a force for change.

  • Kamara's ethereal aesthetic pays tribute both to his West African roots and to London, the city he has lived in for the past 10 years. For Kamara, the beauty of his visuals exist in this intersection of cultures. "When I'm making work, I want people to stop and take in so much," he said. "If an image doesn't stop you, it doesn't really do its job… That's how I make photos, I want people to look at them twice."
  • Kamara sees technology as a source of endless inspiration. It is through Instagram he met and befriended Kristin-Lee Moolman, one of Kamara's longtime collaborators, with whom he has worked on countless projects. "It's so good to find people who you think can bring something to your world," he said. Social media has also upended fashion's longstanding hierarchies, Kamara said, adding that people can now more easily collaborate on ambitious projects without the approval and support of established magazines.
  • Looking to the future, Kamara hopes to inspire a new generation of young image-makers to find confidence in their ways of seeing and believe in their creative visions. Only by supporting, cultivating and promoting the next generation of creative talent can the fashion industry progress: "[I want to] push the industry [forward]… and make it a space where everyone can dream."
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