ARTICLE MANDI LENNARD
PHOTOGRAPHY NICK KNIGHT
From the age of 4, Calum Knight was playing with props on photo shoots while his dad, famed photographer and regular V Magazine and VMAN contributor Nick Knight, shot Dior campaigns around him. Sixteen years old and a helluva lot taller now, he's already sporting the tell-tale threads of a fashion insider, and getting involved in the family business, namely buying for SHOWstudio Shop. We caught up with Calum at the London showrooms to check in on his budding fashion stardom.
What's your role in SHOWstudio Shop?
CK: I am a fashion consultant. I originally got involved through advising Dad to do the OFF WHITE X SHOWstudio collaboration. After the success of that, Dad just kept asking my opinion on different collaborations, which got the ball rolling.
I always thought you could only buy one-off arts pieces.
CK: SHOWstudio Shop started as a place to buy one-offs and high end art from the exhibitions in the gallery, but as we started to get to know the people who loved SHOWstudio, and what they wanted, we started to sell exclusive collabs with lower price points through the website. I love the art we sell in SHOWstudio SHOP, but as a sixteen-year-old, our collaborations and clothing are much more accessible.
Do you work with anyone else?
CK: Last summer, I did my first internship with Machine-A and I’ve been going back ever since. Stavros [Karelis] actually taught me most of what I know about fashion buying. He has been such a great mentor to me. I also model from time to time. I never thought in a million years I would be a model. I find that being in front of a camera pushes me out of my comfort zone the most out of all the things I’ve ever done, but I sort of enjoy that.
What about your studies? How's school going and what's the plan?
CK: School is school. I go to Bedales School in Hampshire. There is nowhere better for me, but when I think of all the stuff I want to be doing whilst sitting in an economics lesson, it’s hard to concentrate. I’m just thinking of it in small parts so it doesn’t seem so daunting. Next step is my AS level mocks, then the real things. After that I get a ridiculously long summer to work on my own projects and go to festivals, which kind of makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Do you think much about what you're going to do when you leave school?
CK: With any luck I’ll end up at CSM [Central Saint Martins] after school. I've spent a lot of time there recently and even modeled for a friend of mine, Oyvind, for the CSM White show. It’s a really fun place, but depending on how things go with the buying over the next 2 years, I may apply or go straight into industry.
Any of your classmates into fashion? Do they get this crazy world you have found yourself immersed in outside school?
CK: Some of my mates, like me, were born into fashion and others are just into it and trying to get into the industry, as that’s all they want to do. Even my friends who don’t really care for fashion take an interest in it as I enjoy it. We all support each other really. We're all quite driven so whether it's fashion, literature, music or drama, we are all using our free time to try and make it there.
Are you boarding?
CK: I am. Sometimes I love it; I’m living with my friends, but other times I want my own space where I can be scruffy and loud and don’t have to answer to anyone.
What is it you enjoy about fashion?
CK: I love the way it changes every season. My best friend Ali asked me this the other day and I was telling her how when a designer comes out with a new collection, it’s like a musician that you love coming out with a new album, or a director with a new film, only with fashion, I know it’s coming every 6 months.
What labels do you like to wear?
CK: Nasir Mazhar, Astrid Andersen, Yohji Yamamoto, OFF-WHITE, Been Trill, HBA [Hood By Air], Gosha Rubchinskiy and KTZ.
Do you know any of the designers?
CK: I know a few, some through work and some socially. The fashion scene in London is actually quite small and most people know each other.
When were you first aware of your father's influence in fashion and how has he influenced your creative path?
CK: I did know and understand the influence Dad has in the industry for most of my life. However, it's only recently, I think, because of my new involvement in the industry, that I really get it. The incredible power of SHOWstudio and the way it presents fashion is how I got a lot of my knowledge about this world that I want to enter, and it's completely accessible. However, Mum is actually the one pulling the strings.
Which artists are you into?
CK: Guy Bourdin; his work is just so challenging and beautiful. Another all time favorite is Francis Bacon. For my most recent fashion design project many of my reference images were Bart Hess. I think he is a genius.
Have you been on many shoots and do you enjoy this behind-the-scenes aspect?
CK: Quite a few; I used to go most weekends to see Mum and Dad. The behind-the-scenes aspect can be quite intense, but also exciting. When Dad was doing all the Dior campaigns, I think I was about four through to eleven years old. I would spend a lot of time there and they often had all these amazing, massive props that were like seven-foot tall yoga balls and a huge pink Cadillac, which I'd love playing with.
Photography or film?
CK: Film, (fashion, not feature).
Where do you like to go out in London?
CK: Anywhere that will let me in.
Where's good to go out in London on a budget?
CK: Gaz’s Rockin' Blues.
What are you listening to at the moment?
CK: ECCO2K, Yung Lean, GZA, Been Trill, Björk, and Béyonce.
You met some great people through SHOWstudio, anyone you hit it off with?
CK: Alex fury, Matt and Jenn Williams, Rei Nadal, to name a few.
What areas of the industry excite you?
CK: The ones that are just forming, like 3-D scanning.