BY KENNETH RICHARD
Several rising fashion photographer stars have broken out over the last few years but none with the global panache of the colorful Chen Man. Her high-impact photography has graced covers and editorials of international fashion publications including Wallpaper, Muse, Elle China, Harper’s Bazaar China, and Vogue China to name a few.
Born in Beijing, Chen Man earned her photography degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts and proceeded to produce arty, manipulated, fantastical images that had one hand in the art world and the other in fashion. Fashion took notice and Paul Marciano came calling and thus a partnership with GUESS was formed. For Holiday, the Guess creative director and Chen Man took the show on the road producing the first GUESS in Japan ad campaign for holiday. The result was an unexpected and colorful surprise adding a new element to GUESS.
We chatted with the Beijing based photographer via an interpreter about the latest GUESS campaign, swords, Paul Marciano, and what is next for her.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us about the GUESS campaign which looks stunning and refreshingly unexpected. How did you decide to take Guess to Japan for the holiday?
The shoot location was chosen by Paul and me. Paul really likes Asia, especially Japan. Japan preserves the Asian tradition very well. I wanted to find a place with a deep Asian culture, combining the ancient characteristics with the modern sexiness of GUESS. That is why we chose Japan, it communicates the feeling of merging the east and the west.
The models have a warrior sensibility yet sexiness that is inherently GUESS. How did you arrive at the look and decide to layer in swords?
GUESS has always been very sexy, lots of denim and bombshell hair. I wanted to add masculine elements to these feminine feelings. This is mixing the East and the West, not only in the genders, but also with the story and styling. Therefore, I chose the black samurai outfit and mixed it with the sexy feminine pieces in the GUESS collection.
You’ve shot for GUESS a number of times now, what is it about the brand that appeals to you?
In my opinion, out of all the brands, GUESS is one of the most well-known brands. They have their own distinctive style. Over the years, GUESS has created a lot of classic advertising campaign images. A lot of famous models have become the idols we know today because of GUESS campaigns. Not only did GUESS create their own classic style, but they also discovered a lot of GUESS models along the way. Mr. Marciano also discovered me, so I am very thankful for GUESS.
What is next for you?
World tour exhibition. “East • West” – the new philosophy of painting and graphic exhibition and lecture. West starts from LA, East starts from Beijing Oriental Imperial Ancestral Temple.
Thanks for taking the time to chat?