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For the second annual issue of Epic Eye Magazine—a collaboration between printer, Epic Litho, and graphic design agency, IF Studio—we produced original content and featured curated work by some of our favorite creative folks, with an iconic and memorable cover image that blurs the borders between fashion and theater. Conceptualization began with a basic assignment to photograph a female model and to capture her beauty in an unconventional way, while drawing inspiration from the Japanese geisha.
The most critical step was choosing the right model to be a canvas for Japanese makeup and hair artists, Hiro Yonemoto and Shinya Nakagawa. We selected Korean model, Caroline Kim, in wardrobe by Korean apparel designer, Alexandra Naam, and then granted our hair and makeup stylists full creative freedom. Each stylist's work informed the others, with wardrobe serving as inspiration for makeup and makeup serving as inspiration for hair. Further, our cover design emerged as a natural response to the final image, incorporating colors and graphics that mimic the red detail on Caroline's eyes.
The final result is an arresting poster image of a geisha that represents the shared allure of beauty and death. Because we gave our stylists so much creative freedom, even we were surprised by the final product, which challenges emotion in a way we feel speaks to the social and political dramas of our time. In true collaboration, our team collectively produced an image and design that is unique, memorable, fresh and iconic.