In conversation with JONATHAN KOPE
Photographer Jonathan Kope has been partnering with FIELDS from our brand’s inception to create and define our visual identity, while also bringing a modern and refreshed approach to each season’s campaign imagery.
What stood out for you about FIELDS, when first asked to work on the brand?
I found it grounding that Mikael was starting something entirely new, and instilling it with his own ideals and taste rather than pander to what he assumes a consumer might like. I also appreciated that he was intent on delivering high quality garments rather than purely looking at the proverbial bottom line.
What was your starting point as you began to imagine how the first collection would be visually interpreted?
A focus on simplicity and letting the 'shoot' get out of the way of the collection.
What is important for you when creating images for a brand and specifically, for a fashion brand?
To try and find a sense of honesty and reality and humanity in the midst of repetition and regurgitation. I feel like on fashion shoots creatives spend a lot of time trying to make things look like how they assume they're supposed to look, or make images that look a certain way as they've seen it done like that somewhere before. Rather than using the raw ingredients in a specific setting and on a specific date and working to make something honest with those key ingredients only.
What are the challenges you face, if any, on creating something original in a very cluttered fashion space where everything has already been done? In other words, how do you stay original?
I think mining one's own taste and headspace and context for creative inspiration rather than spending too much time looking outwardly is important. As is travel.
What are the parallels of fashion and functionality for you?
I'm not so much looking at the garments I buy to have a set 'function' per se. I don't look for lots of pockets on a waistcoat to hold my lenses or whatever. But generally in the majority of what I wear I don't like useless embellishment. So I like clothing mostly to perform its basic function and nothing else. On the other hand, I do also like to pair that spartan simplicity and uniformity with the occasional flamboyant flourish. Otherwise it can get a little oppressive.
What is “style” according to Jonathan Kope?
When fashion is formed around 'functionality' as a theme (cargo pants, military inspired, dungarees with a hammer hook etc) I tend to find it a little ridiculous. I'm not a soldier or a wall-plasterer. I can't get my head round play acting as one. You can't think too hard about this sort of thing or you'll never leave your house in the morning.
What is important for you when you are investing in a piece of clothing?
I'm the wrong person to ask this question. I struggle to commit to clothing. I'll spend exorbitant amounts on a high-end meal or a bar tab on a whim, and spend days agonising over whether to buy a specific t-shirt. When I do buy clothing, it usually is almost as if part of a uniform. Black. Utilitarian. Oversized. Well priced. A bit of menace.
What is your favourite piece in the current/debut collection?
The Field shirt.
2020 - the year of...?
Denim or leather?
V-neck or Crew?
Sunglasses or watch?
Backpack or duffle?
Winter or summer?
Maximalist or minimalist?
Monochrome or colour?
Podcast or Playlist?
View more of Jonathan Kope's photography at: