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Jimmy Moffat

Interview

What is your ideal office?

 

One filled with people who inspire me.

 

What was your earliest foray into fashion?

 

I curated a fashion photography show in 1980 at a gallery I ran. With the help of Alan Kleinberg, a photographer and hairdresser I met in the ‘70s, I researched and contacted and ultimately exhibited 65 fashion photographers. From Saul Leiter, Louis Faurer, Bill Silanos and Bob Richardson, to Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Chris Von Wagenheim and the rest—it was an amazing show, a huge, all-night opening in a loft above Millers Harness Store on East 24th. In many ways this show was a precursor to Art and Commerce.

 

Do you consider yourself a bohemian?

 

No, I’m from Westchester.

 

How have you seen the role of photography change within the current realm of media?


I have certainly seen the means of distribution change. I’m not sure the role has changed in the sense of communication, documentation, interpretation...

 

What do you miss about fashion in New York in the 80s?


Ripping and scrunching.

 

Do you see your children following in your footsteps?


My eldest daughter is involved in education and community outreach at Hudson River Community Sailing, my son works in business development at WME-IMG and my youngest daughter is studying film, photography and social justice at Vassar.

 

What is your most treasured possession?

 

The things I treasure the most aren’t possessions.

 

How has your agency evolved with the onset of the digital age?


Pretty well, thank you.

 

What emerging trends have you noticed in the work of your students?


Those that reflect the issues of today like gender identity, disassociation, anxiety, honesty.

 

When is the last time you cried?

 

When my dog died.

 

Do you have a uniform?

 

God no.

 

Who is one of the next rising stars in photography?

 

There are so many rising stars and I’m much more interested in illuminating the many than focusing on a few.

 

How were you able to go from a commerce-driven agency to starting Red Hook Labs, which is focused on giving back, supporting underrepresented talent and engaging the Red Hook community?

 

I’ve been involved with education for many years, but as far as business goes, I’ve simply shifted focus from primarily helping the very successful navigate their careers to providing opportunities for careers in photography and fashion to young people who have no access to those wonderful worlds. And I’ve never liked, or really understood the term “giving back”—in Red Hook, we’re just all working together to learn together, create together and succeed together with as little bias, ego or greed as possible.

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