Meet the south Korean fashion photographer capturing youth from London to Seoul

Stephane Yu creates fashion stories with her friends and the faces of Instagram.

Stephane Yu is a London based, South Korean photographer who strays away from casting professional models – creating fashion stories with the help of her friends and the faces of Instagram she seeks out. “My pictures are not going to be what you see in the fashion magazine. I do this because it’s more realistic to me,” she tells us.

Inspired by the quotidian, Asian cinema and photographers of the likes of Steven Meisel, Juergen Teller, and Tim Walker, Stephane’s images – shot on 35mm film – are staged in the urban landscapes that surround her, from the Seoul metro to the London underground. “The best way to find a location is to get lost. I just put away my mobile phones and keep walking and check out what’s there,” she explains.

As she makes plans to create an independent fashion magazine with a different perspective on fashion, we caught up with the photographer to ask what inspired her move to London, how she feels London’s fashion scene compares to South Korea, and why she chooses to shoot with film over digital.

You moved from South Korea to London two years – what inspired the move?

When I was a kid, I always listen to British music such as Oasis, Sex pistols, and Radiohead. Living in London was like a dream for a kid like me.


How would you compare the fashion scene in London to South Korea?

I think it’s similar in some ways – but fashion in Korea is very fast-paced and trendy and it’s more like a fast food to me. However, there are many youngsters trying to find their own styles and try new things nowadays. There are very diverse people in London so it’s interesting that it makes me think of different hair and skin colour and culture when I’m photographing people.

"Fashion in Korea is very fast-paced and trendy and it’s more like a fast food to me."

You work predominantly in film – why do you prefer to use it over digital?

I use film because it just looks better. And I don’t need to spend my time doing retouch after taking thousands of pictures with digital camera. Whenever I used film cameras, I felt like I am really connected to models without any interruptions. Maybe its because the other people can’t see what I see through the viewfinder of my camera.

Which fashion photographers would you say have inspired your aesthetic?

Steven Meisel, Juergen Teller, and Tim Walker.

"Usually I get many ideas from our daily lives and Asian cinemas."

What gets you inspired – do you take any inspiration from the online world?

Sometimes, I don’t even know where I get it from, it just comes from many different sources. But usually I get many ideas from our daily lives and Asian cinema. And I find many different types of short movie clips on Youtube. Maybe that’s the only source I get inspiration from the online word.

What are you currently working on and what are your hopes for the future?

Me and my friend are planning to make an independent fashion magazine based in Seoul, Korea, but we wanted to have different perspective on fashion. I am trying to find young Korean contributors with their unique style and talent. Hopefully, this magazine will be a nice platform to give opportunities to young artists so they can express their stories and themselves.