AORTA

Since its launch in 2001, Elvine’s soul has been rooted in the urban playfulness of Gothenburg street culture. A love for the creative lifeblood and inclusive attitude of the city is a vital driving force behind Elvine’s creativity. When it was time to pick a photographer for the spring/summer image campaign 2018, there was no question of who was going to get the job – it had to be Aorta.

For the spring/summer season 2018, Elvine is presenting an image campaign that lives and breathes the fashion company’s roots – urban playfulness. The artists behind the campaign are Aorta, in other words the Gothenburg-based photographers Marco Grizej and Kristian Krän. They have been working together for 20 years with clients spanning the globe – from New Zealand vodka and the US TV series Mad Men to a plethora of fashion shoots for leading lifestyle magazines. Working with Elvine was a match made in heaven for the photography duo. “We love Elvine. You always feel well dressed but relaxed at the same time. You can be carrying photography gear one minute and attending an important meeting the next without having to change.”

What would you say characterises your style of photography?
Our pictures are composed and sculptural with a touch of surrealism. Our background lies in a visual language characterised by a very stylised and polished finish, but these days we tone down the lighting and retouching to get a more realistic feel.

What would you say characterises the pictures you shot for Elvine?
There’s a playfulness about the pictures as you can’t really read them instantly. You have to stop and think about what’s actually going on. Which way is up and which way down? It’s fun when pictures ask questions. Pictures that don’t ask questions are all too quickly consumed.

What was the process of producing Elvine’s pictures like?
We went through a thorough process starting with research, sketches, location scouting and tests with models. We then knew exactly what we wanted each picture to look like, which made the actual shoot much easier.

Were there any particular challenges?
We over-estimated the models’ acrobatic abilities and the male model turned out to be scared of heights. But with a bit of extra work and encouragement, it worked out well in the end.

MARCO

What’s your style?
After six years of fatherhood, it’s shifted more towards functionalist everyday style compared with how it used to be. Scandinavian minimalism with an edge, you might say.

What do you love about Gothenburg?
The great thing about it is that people just stroll around totally calmly, without any particular destination. People don’t give off a sense of being terribly busy all the time, people make time for each other.

What do you hate about Gothenburg?
The people in charge of city planning aren’t on the right track. They stamp out lovely little oases that emerge and flourish all by themselves at grassroots level.

Favourite part of Gothenburg:
Stigbergstorget in Majorna. It’s a square close to the centre but it’s like a little village with all sorts of people.

Favourite place in Gothenburg:
Azaleadalen in Slottsskogen.

Where are you off to next?
London to photograph Jamie Oliver.

Recommend an Instagram account:
@thephotographicindex

What makes you laugh?
I’ve got a dark sense of humour, so sad and terrible things. We have to laugh at grisly things while also seeing the serious side of what is meant to be humour.

What should retail staff bear in mind?
See the whole store so you can give the right help to the right person. And make everyone feel at home.

Best store in the world:
Small independent stores selling products they have made themselves.

Favourite Elvine jacket:
I can’t remember what it’s called, but I’ve worn it for ten years and I’m still wearing it.

KRISTIAN

What’s your style?
A mix of new and vintage.

What do you love about Gothenburg?
It’s got the feel of a village in a city. You go round saying hello to people you recognise in the street. No-one cares about what you do or where you live. It’s about who you are as a person.

What do you hate about Gothenburg?
The rain!

Favourite part of Gothenburg:
The rocks where you find seals out at Saltholmen.

Favourite place in Gothenburg:
Röda Sten, the area in Majorna where you can eat and drink, skate and just hang out. It feels free and open.

Where are you off to next?
London to photograph Jamie Oliver.

Recommend an Instagram account:
@aorta_photo

What makes you laugh:
Schadenfreude. But I laugh at myself too when things go a bit wrong.

What should retail staff bear in mind?
Don’t come up to customers immediately. Sense whether they need help. Otherwise it makes people stressed.

Best store in the world:
Good second-hand shops.

Favourite Elvine jacket:
Craig