At the occasion of a collaboration with the luxury leather goods brand Michino Paris, the students of the Master in Fashion Film & Photography undertook a photography project to capture the brand’s spirit.
In this article, MFFP student Samantha Mandich talks about the brand and Yasu Michino, its creator, as well as how she conceived her project.
I was drawn to the Master’s program in Fashion Film & Photography at Paris College of Art to both further my craft of photography and filmmaking, and network with professionals in the industry. Networking has been undeniably difficult in Paris during the coronavirus pandemic, so when we were offered the opportunity to collaborate with Michino Paris, a luxury leather goods brand based in Paris, I was excited for the opportunity.
Yasu Michino, the founder and creator of Michino, came to PCA prepared with a presentation about the brand, his inspiration, and what he was looking for in this collaboration. From there, MFFP students had the opportunity to borrow his products and shoot individual fashion stories based on his expectations and inspiration.
Yasu Michino, who is originally from Tokyo, has traveled all over the world and therefore takes inspiration from the diversity of cultures and languages he encountered. This global outlook on life ultimately led him to a career in the luxury fashion industry, which began at none other than Yves Saint Laurent. He moved on to designing leather goods for brands such as Nina Ricci,
Givenchy, Delvaux, and Yeezy among many others. Today, Yasu continues to work with French maisons as a consultant specializing in leather goods.
Michino, established in 2014, is inspired by Yasu’s love of travel, meeting new people, discovering new places and new beginnings. His love for languages is undeniably present in each collection as well. In his talk, Yasu also shared with us the inspiration he felt after moving to Paris, and the message behind one of his best selling pieces, the “SALUT” bag, which ultimately served as my main source of inspiration. On the Michino Paris website, “Salut” is defined as follows:
“It means do not forget where you come from. Remember the challenge to integrate into a new society and a culture that is not yours from birth. It means to continue to dream, even though, at times, it seems silly. It means be kind and friendly to others no matter the circumstance. Remember to smile. It also means in French ‘Hello’ but also ‘Good-Bye’ in a casual way.”
As I have also moved to three different major cities in my life, I can connect to this message on a personal level, and I wanted to explore how I could translate the feeling of moving and adapting to a new city such as Paris through video and photography featuring the Michino “SALUT” Bag. I decided to photograph and direct a short fashion film that incorporated contemporary dance, which is another passion of mine, in order to embody the many emotions one encounters when discovering a new place. Ultimately, my goal was to capture the hustle and bustle of Paris while also showcasing the beautiful lines and features of the bag in parallel to the lines of the dancers. The photographs were meant to capture this same aesthetic in still images.
I feel that the project pushed me, as well as my colleagues, to explore the many ways to tell Yasu and Michino’s story through a visual narrative while staying true to our personal style. The collaboration allowed everyone to showcase the Michino bags in a different light, giving Yasu a diverse collection of stories from different perspectives of living in Paris.