A Conversation with

Bon Duke

With his boyish good looks, cool crop of hair and signature silver rings, photographer Bon Duke looks as if he belongs in front of the camera as much as he does behind it. Despite his young age, Duke has accrued an impressive body of work: He counts Lindsey Wixon and Coco Rocha as muses and V Magazine, Nylon, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Kanye West as clients. We caught up with Duke and asked him about his latest film collaboration with emerging designer Prabal Gurung, which was created as part of an exclusive project conceived by NOWNESS and the School of Visual Arts. Click on the video above to watch the entire film, and check out his portfolio here.

Your short was part of an exclusive collaboration with the CFDA and School of Visual Arts. What was the selection process like to be a part of this initiative? How were you paired with Prabal Gurung?
The selection process was simple: We were all rotated through the different designers and then each designer was paired with a photographer. Prabal and I connected instantly and knew that we would create an amazing piece together.

How did you come up with the concept for your short film?
We were given a prompt to use an introduction to a movie we liked. I wanted to contrast Prabal's high-end clothing with a movie that was the total opposite. Lords of Dogtown was perfect for this. Creating a female leader that had a pack of skaters following her around really appealed to me匢 worked hard to ensure that you knew she was the leader based on her look and attitude.

Why did you decide to name your film 揟he Erjonas?
The film is actually named after the model, Erjona Ala.

How would you describe your film and photography aesthetic?
I like to have fun with my films, to create an energy that the viewer can experience. I usually try to create a character that has a confidence and a "cool" feeling to them. My photography, on the other hand, always relates to shape and form. I try to look at the shape of the clothing匢 approach it almost like a still life. I also like small imperfections in the photo that I leave to contrast the beauty and flawlessness of the clothes and model.

Your personal style?
White tee, black or blue jeans, leather jacket, and rings. Oh, and Rough Luxury!

Having already collaborated with CFDA winner Prabal Gurung for this short, which designers or artists would you like to work with next?
With respect to designers, I would love to collaborate with Raf Simons or Yohji Yamamoto. In terms of artists, I would love to work with Woodkid. His real name is Yoann Lemoine and he is actually an amazing director. He then jumped into music and adopted the name Woodkid.

What are some of your upcoming projects?
I am shooting a lot of personal video projects that are much more humorous and almost poke fun at the fashion world.

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