The answer lies in the way Nick packages his own profession. He calls himself an ‘image-maker’, eschewing the traditional term ‘photographer’, and has championed fashion film long before social distancing made it a necessity. He speaks with reverence of fashion photography, and those mastered it before him, referencing the likes of Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, and Cecil Beaton many times in our conversation. Nick argues firmly that he’s changing the format of photography with the innovative methods he practices. “I always want to look forward,” he says. “What I find most exciting is the discovery of things I hadn’t seen before, a new way of doing something, a new way of seeing something. So when new technologies offer you that, whether it’s 3D scanning, or AI – or telepathy – it’s just a new way of understanding the world and a new way of expressing yourself. Of course that’s more attractive than going back to something you’ve been doing before. I’m not a great believer in nostalgic digging into the past. I’d much rather, as a society, we look towards the future.”
“Although nothing is in any way good about this awful pandemic, the effects of it will be to produce a cultural shift.” – Nick Knight
This week, Nick’s award-winning fashion platform SHOWstudio – The Home of Fashion Film – celebrated its twentieth birthday. Founded in 2000 and co-directed by Nick and his wife and agent, Charlotte Knight, the platform is known for pioneering live fashion broadcasting – panel discussions and show reports to the camera are a staple of the site’s fashion week reportage – and elegantly shot interviews giving formerly unprecedented access to the likes of John Galliano, Kate Moss, Alexander McQueen, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, and many more. Fundamentally, at the forefront of SHOWstudio is Nick’s desire to show fashion in motion, through the medium of fashion film.
“It’s quite satisfying to know I was right all along,” Nick laughs when asked how it feels to see fashion film explode in such a manner as necessitated by COVID-19’s restrictive presence in the industry. “Although nothing is in any way good about this awful pandemic, the effects of it will be to produce a cultural shift.” It’s been clear for a long time to him that the way fashion is created and consumed is ripe for change and he sees the adaptations that he’s had to make in order to produce work during this time as pivotal to that.