Photographer Saleen Saleh is a New York-based street style photographer known for her skill at spotting uniquely fashionable people with a special focus on the stylish vibrancy expressed by black men and women. Her debut book titled Street Culture includes a collection of her best and brightest subjects including images shot while on assignment for Essence.
Reflecting on street style as an evolving statement on identity, Saleh explains, “Style is a creative expression that presents the opportunity to project who we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going. Oftentimes it’s an outward expression of our experiences and lineage. I enjoy capturing subjects whose personal style expresses this ideal the most.”
Check our exchange with Saleh below.
Snobette: Your book, Street Culture, is a collection of images you have captured over the span of five years. Have you been able to witness any common threads or shifts in silhouettes?
Saleh: “I believe the common thread is that personal style has always been prevalent throughout time. Since the beginning of time and beyond, I have seen a strong connection with our African heritage in menswear. For example the khamis or thob [an ankle length men’s shirt dress] is a garment found globally as worn by African kings and sheikhs as well as monks and spiritual leaders. The movement towards gender fluid clothing is not a surprise and should be welcomed.
“The colors and patterns of vintage clothing have always been an inspiration for designers regardless of any particular era. Whether it be the 1920s or 1990s, the influence is prevalent, which can be reflected through the individualized styling of people from around the globe. Given the current state of the world, I believe people will become more mindful of their accounts, leading to the desire to buy vintage and upcycled wears. It is not only affordable, it is sustainable!”
Check out a selection of images from Street Style below, now available on goffbooks.com.