Local photographer Benjamin Fredrickson talks fashion

Local photographer Benjamin Fredrickson talks fashion
Self portrait by Benjamin Fredrickson wearing Pleasure Principle & Boy of London, Jeremy Scott, Dr. Martins and Grey Ant glasses

​Minneapolis style maven Benjamin Fredrickson is one of the city's most provocative photographers. Fredrickson's avant-garde look and serious love of fashion also make him  inspirational. Recently, the photographer's work has been getting quite a bit of local, national, and global attention. We especially love his new female portrait series.

Jane Belfry: Describe your style.

Benjamin Fredrickson: My style is constantly changing. What I enjoy doing is extracting bits and pieces from different looks and mashing them together to create an entirely new one. Right now I'm into these corny, played-out Clark Kent glasses, wavy George Michael hair combined with Captain Morgan's moustache and goatee, super short cut-offs, and a slinky black tank from Anzevino & Florence. It's a fun end of summer look!

JB: And for fall?

BF: I'm really excited to start putting together my fall wardrobe. I found this black wool felt hat that I'll pair with an oversized fringed linen shirt from the British label Horace. Sort of a Spaghetti Western-goth-Stevie Nicks look. I definitely want to get a pair of black leather wedge boots inspired by the latest menswear collection from Rick Owens.

Local photographer Benjamin Fredrickson talks fashion
Benjamin Fredrickson in a wrestling singlet and Jeremy Scott leggings

JB: Where do you like to shop locally/globally?

BF: Thank goodness for online shopping! I know personally as a guy that it's hard to find anything locally in stores that is wearable and fashion forward at the same time. There aren't any menswear retailers in town that take chances with avant-garde or even fun fashion. That said, I love the local online store Shop Fatale. I just ordered a pair of Jeremy Scott leggings from them, and a Bernhard Willhelm piece as well. So there is hope locally. Globally, I shop at Seven New York, Oak NYC, Blackbird Seattle, and ASOS, an online retailer based in the U.K.

JB: How long have you been working as a photographer?

BF: I've been working for many years off and on, but not until recently did I realize that it is something that I am truly passionate about. It's a great way for me to express myself on my own terms. It's funny to me how uninhibited I can be when a camera is in my hands. Also, my work has been getting published nationally and internationally lately. I'm having the first major showing of my recent Polaroid diary project in Brooklyn, NY. So excited!

JB: What other photographers do you admire most?

BF: I really admire the NY based photographer Paul Mpagi Sepuya. The images he creates of his male subjects are quietly beautiful. They are simple, but the body language is so strong. I also admire the work of artist Michael Gaughan. He has such a passion for what he does, whether it's through his many music projects or his visual art projects. And often times the two intersect which makes it so successful in my opinion. I've always been in awe of his creative energy!

JB: Who and what inspires you?

BF: I get a lot of inspiration from movies. I think it would be fun to live in a Fellini movie like Satyricon or Jodorowsky's Santa Sangre. I love movie stars too, Joe Dallesandro and Udo Kier inspire me. I'm totally inspired by seeing those tabloid magazines featuring movie stars without make up on. It's divine! Everyone is flawed, even movie stars. It's all about acting and being somebody that you really aren't. It's all fantasy. Also, people who create their own path and stick to it inspire me. Not everyone might get it or understand, but as long as the person knows what they are doing, and is happy doing it, that's all that matters.

JB: How do you feel about the Minneapolis fashion scene? Do you feel that it has changed or grown over the past couple of years?

BF: Five years ago there wasn't much of a local fashion scene at all. People were having "fashion shows" every weekend at local bars and such. There were lots of people that liked to sew vintage inspired clothing from patterns or clothing reconstructed from thrift store finds, and they considered themselves fashion designers. What I've seen in the last year or so is a definite progression in the local fashion scene, and a lot more support for it. Now, we have more designers that make their own original patterns and think about quality and construction. It's definitely an exciting time.

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