Streetsnaps: Nabil Elderkin
The director & photographer talks us through his personal style and upcoming feature film debut.
Nabil Elderkin is reluctant to talk about his personal style, or lack of one. Describing it as “pretty eclectic,” he prefers to focus on his trousers, a new discovery shaping his taste. “I wear pants from a dress suit, most of them I find at thrift stores,” he says. “I used to always wear black jeans, and then I started noticing how timeless some people look. My goal now is to find something that looks timeless.”
As well as his suit pants, Elderkin — who has directed music videos for Kanye West, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean — explains that he wants his entire outfit to be “more basic, timeless, clean,” offset with a couple eye-catching pieces. “I’m messing around a bit with prints on my shirts. Today I’ve got an old school hunting camouflage print. But I couldn’t wear too many prints, I can’t be too flashy. I feel awkward to be honest.”
Speaking on the value of specific prints Elderkin elaborates on a visit to maharishi’s London store. “I went there and bought like six shirts,” he adds. “I f*ck with the vibe in there. It has some prints and it has these classic patterns that look like part of history. I think they’re based on Asian or Indian mythology.”
Elderkin is visiting London to promote his latest directorial project, Selfridges’ Future Fantasy Christmas video. The short film features Kim Jones, Daniel Arsham, Miguel and Noomi Rapace, as well as a voiceover from Little Simz. “There was a lot of creative freedom to make something that was different,” Elderkin reflects. “It’s a real simple idea, based on a set with inspirations and designs by Daniel Arsham and his artwork. It’s this idea of bringing all kinds of people together for a different take on Christmas. I’m not a huge celebrator of Christmas, but I like the idea of people coming together and sharing energies.”
The Future Fantasy Christmas project marked the end of Elderkin’s impactful 2019, which also included the premiere of Gully, his first feature film. The movie was in the works for years, after its writer presented Elderkin with a copy of the script in a New York bar. “I read the script and it just knocked my head off. I knew I had to make this film somehow,” he explains. “I spent a couple of years slowly chipping away at it while doing all my other videos, photos and projects. I knew in my head that this is the movie I have to make first.”
“I want to make things that are positive,” Elderkin continues. “Visually we’re being bombarded [to the point of] visual numbness. I just want to make things that hopefully make people think and take something positive out of it, or at least question how you treat people round you or how you look at things around you. Think about the things that are around you so that, hopefully, you think about how you treat others. That was the point of making Gully. It’s not a happy film, but I want the experience to inspire you to make positive choices to the people around you.”