I “met” Justin Mariano during PFW in January of 2020. If I‘m remembering correctly, he finessed into our AW20 show at Palais De Tokyo with a friend, shot a bunch of amazing photos & sent them over within a few days. He did the same for LV a few days before. What he shot turned out to be my favourite photos from that show & we became internet friends. We exchanged gifts here and there and finally began working together. Justin documented our latest Paris trip for the SS23 show for 3 days straight. 700 or so (upside down) polaroids, 500 film photos, hours of VHS, all capturing the moments worth remembering from that trip, all in 3 days.
Justin came by the studio in LA for a few hours when we shot these portraits of himself & his boots. He was headed back to New York later that night after only being in LA for 12 hours, flying in from Tokyo. I told him I wanted to do a small interview via iMessage as we were wrapping up and we started it the next day. Super important to note that while this is only 3 questions, it took 3 days. Between these responses were texts from Justin about getting shirts made, documenting a party our friend Hank K was DJing, and an out of context beach photo. That’s Justin.
RC: Justin I was originally thinking I’d start off by describing what you do, but on second thought I’d love if you could describe it yourself.
JM: I’d say i’m on a mission to live as many crazy, dream-like days as possible with dope friends and people around me that are on the same mission. I use photos and videos to immortalize the environments around me with the intention of preserving time, memories and people and hopefully also inspiring those that come across the imagery to feel good about their life, learn something new or to also go after their wild ideas to see where they end up. I also enjoy making clothes and books and whatever else comes to mind.
RC: I just saw a book in LA, that you made in Tokyo, with photos from Paris… something that my friends and I talk about is how active you are across the world, constantly moving. Is there a way you would describe your relationship to travel?
JM: Traveling is just dope. So I try to do as much as possible and then make projects happen while I'm out there. A way to set up plays for the future while also having fun in the process. Like making tees in Tokyo and finding a printer to print the book. That wasn’t a commissioned job but in the future, when there is a project on the table, we got the resources ready to go. Traveling with homies is also always the mission. It creates lifelong memories but in a more exponential way. Seeing places online made me want to move around the world. Imagery and videos are enough but actually being there is impactful in a whole other way. I really like learning about people and their lifestyles, so to be able to compare it with people from around the world is a real gift. Also ties into the photo and video obsession. I wanna share it with whoever’s eyes come across it.
RC: Out of anywhere in the world, where do you want to go next?
JM: First thought was Madagascar as I saw the texts coming in… let’s go with wherever the last international flight of the day from JFK is going.
Below is a handful of work by Justin Mariano we chose from the 300+ he texted over when asked if there were any photos he wanted to include. Some are documenting our SS23 show, the rest are personal work from JM.