KEYI STUDIO is a project of two creatives: Izabella Chrobok and Grzegorz Bacinski – photographers who started working together around two years ago – create fashion photography around the world. They are based in Berlin, Germany and Shenzhen/Hong Kong, China.
For more information, visit their website at www.keyi.eu
We caught up with Grzegorz and Izabella of KEYI Studio and chatted about fashion, culture and gender neutrality.
Keep reading to learn about how their diverse experiences from Berlin to China have impacted their styles and brand.
How would you describe your style?
It’s a very contrast-full fantasy mixture. On one hand, we have independent edgy projects; on the other, it’s commercial colourful stuff. We also shoot artists and try to best capture their individual character.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In everyday life, culture, music, art, travel and social issues. It’s all around. It’s the very diverse playground of the never-bored child, who is always full of ideas and questions, and wants to constantly explore.
What does “gender neutral” mean to you? How do you think this can impact others’ lives?
It’s the field where gender is not the obvious definition and where it doesn’t play a categorising role in the society. It’s a place where we are more than “just” a gender’s cliché, which is a limitation in itself. For example, it’s like someone would judge our intelligence on basis of hair colour, because we’re blonde 😉 . The future is going to go beyond the gender limitations and it’s heading towards equality: breaking the old to create the new.
What do you hope to achieve through your creative work, and what message do you want to send?
We want to wake up imagination and allow free space for fantasy in people’s heads. We go against the automatisation of behaviour that is perpetuated by the system we used to live in. There’s something punk about saying, “Hey, you can live your life in peace, go by your own rules, you don’t have to adjust, you can be yourself and shock to inspire.”
You are based in Berlin and China. How do their creative scenes differ or compare?
There’s a big mental and cultural difference. Both places are very interesting and inspiring.
Liberal Berlin is the cultural capital of Europe, where you can experience diverse experiences and individuals at parties that start on Friday and end on Monday! Berlin is full of independent art and fashion projects, amazing performances and music acts, and ecologically conscious and forward-thinking people.
In China everything seems so new to us. We love the emotional balance, which could be an inspiration for us stressed Europeans! We love that people sing and dance on the streets like nobody’s watching. Advertisements in China are more cheerful and colourful, often featuring cartoons or illustrations, which in Europe could be seen as childlike or for children, since conventional ad design there is less flashy.
Your work has been featured in a huge number of publications. What’s the key to your success?
Thank you so much; that’s very kind of you! We wouldn’t say call it a huge success, but we’re getting there! The key is patience and thinking about our next steps every day. We’re constantly looking for the new and reflecting on the old. And always learning from mistakes.
What is your favourite thing about A.C.F?
We love the encompassing idea and vibe of the brand, from its conscious background in the production of eco- & vegan-friendly clothing, to the universal and beautiful designs. Your brand seizes the future as the present, and you are inspiration for anyone who wants to support good on Earth.
Do you think fashion is going through a revolution? In what ways?
The future of fashion is largely dependent on ecological conditions. Nowadays there is too much cheap mass-production, which exploits the planet’s resources to make a fast buck; in turn, it produces excessive waste, from manufacture to wear and tear and disposal, due to low product quality. Fast fashion also capitalises on child labour and the general usage of unsafe chemicals. It is only with a growing consciousness of the social and environmental ethical climates that the fashion industry will head in a more sustainable direction.