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Yves Saint Laurent “No Way Back” Ari Marcopoulos Interview

Yves Saint Laurent gave us a special invite last month to attend the label’s 2011 Spring/Summer Presentation during Paris Fashion Week. During that visit we caught up with photographer extraordinaire Ari Marcopoulos, and conducted a short interview regarding his video piece for Yves Saint Laurent’s 2011 Spring/Summer Collection. Amongst other things, Ari speaks of the juxtaposition of high-end and street fashion, his influences, tattoos and the film itself. Featured as well are more exclusive backstage images from this presentation at the YSL showroom.

We’ve seen your influence over multiple realms of fashion from street to high, what is the commonality between the two and how are they different than say mainstream fashion for the masses?

Everybody is influenced by fashion one way or the other. Most of us pick out some kind of clothes and combine them in a certain way. Some people are obsessed by it and others don’t really care, but in the end it is still a matter of choices to be made.

How would you describe the process of putting the inspirations of others into cinematic form? Was it any different with Stefano Pilati?

This was not really a commercial; it was a cinematic portrait of Mark Mahoney. So it was really what I saw and heard and how I interpreted it

What does the film represent and why was Mark Mahoney chosen as the focus?

Stefano recently had a tattoo done by Mark and I had my first tattoo two months ago, so it seemed to make sense to make a portrait of this amazing character.

Tattoo culture seems to be enjoying an increasingly large mainstream appeal and no longer left only to a select few of renegades, what are your thoughts on this?

It seems to go that way with all cultures eventually the mainstream catches up.

What was the most memorable aspect of this project?

Getting to hang with Mark and his family at his home. Meeting Steve Jones.

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