On the occasion of Saks’ second collaboration with Street Pepper, Phil Oh (see his incredible handbags story on Saks.com now!), we took the opportunity to ask him some questions we’ve been dying to know the answers to!
SaksPOV: Did you always love fashion?
Phil Oh: No. Oops, am I supposed to admit that? I guess I was never really exposed to anything other than shopping mall fashion whilst growing up in Chicago. When I started my blog, I was really into street wear and I only knew fashion labels that were name-dropped in rap songs. My tasted have slowly changed since then, I suppose. Photographing at fashion weeks has been pretty good on-the-job training though.
SaksPOV: What is so compelling to you about street fashion? How has it changed and evolved in recent seasons?
P.O.: I think people have started to make more of an effort to dress up at fashion weeks, and gives them a great excuse to show off their recent purchases. I remember head-to-toe black was the fashion uniform, but I think street-style blogs have maybe helped inject some fun and color into the way industry people dress.
SaksPOV: What do you look for when you take a picture?
P.O.: I like color and when mixed prints and patterns are done well. Interesting proportions are always welcome. While I of course appreciate chic and classic, I love when I see people pushing the envelope a bit.
SaksPOV: Do you have any favorite subjects? People you always love snapping?
P.O.: I love to snap blogger Susie Bubble who has since become one of my closest friends, stylist Marina Munoz, editors Jenny Kang from New York Magazine, Michelle Reneau from Nylon Magazine and Jane Keltner de Valle from TeenVogue. Models Hanne Gaby Odiele and Valerija Kelava are some of my favorites, along with a whole slew of Asian models like Ming Xi, Shu Pei, Liu Wen, Wang Xiao, and Hyoni Kang.
And of course Anna Dello Russo never ceases to amaze with her full runway looks.
SaksPOV: Is there anyone you’re hoping to get a picture of but haven’t yet?
SaksPOV: Who are your inspirations, idols, muses?
P.O.: Michael Jordan, Brian Wilson, Tommy Ton, and Susie Bubble
SaksPOV: What do you wear on a daily basis?
P.O.: I’d be happy if my own wardrobe was all Marni, Prada, Jil Sander, Comme des Garcons, Happy Socks and Uniqlo underwear. For women, I also love Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Kane, and Proenza Schouler.
SaksPOV: Your long hair is one of your signatures. What is your grooming routine?
P.O.: Haha, it is? I used to wear my hair up in a topknot but one season I ran out of hair-ties, let my hair down and haven’t put it up since. I get my hair cut at a salon in my neighborhood in Brooklyn called Commune. The stylists are all Japanese and understand how to deal with Asian hair. As for products, I use a Mason Pearson brush and Kerastase shampoo. I never used to condition my hair but last month I tried some Dove Oil Conditioner that I got in a gift bag. I have no idea how it rates on the scale of conditioners, but it seems to work and it’s only like five bucks!
SaksPOV: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
P.O.: Trust your own instincts? I dunno [sic], I’ve never been that good at taking the advice of others…
SaksPOV: What is the best advice you give to others who aspire to be like you?
P.O.: Find your own path, because I honestly have no idea how I ended up doing what I do now. Is studied history in college, got fired from 12 waiter jobs in NYC, backpacked around the world, published a novel, worked at a failed start-up, and now I’m a street-style photographer? I’m still scratching my head over that one…
SaksPOV: If you could sum up how people dress today in one word, what would it be?
For more on Phil Oh, head to Saks.com where he shot his favorite fall handbags exclusively for Saks.com. Featuring Marc Jacobs, Reed Krakoff, 3.1 Phillip Lim & more.