In conversation with Adam Katz Sinding
In conversation with the incredibly talented photographer Adam Katz Sinding.
Who are you and what is your profession?
My name is Adam Katz Sinding. Not Adam Katz. I’m an american photographer but am based in Copenhagen, Denmark for the past 3.5 years. I grew up in Tacoma, WA, lived in Seattle for 10 years, Paris for 6 months, New York City for 6 years, Amsterdam for 1 year and now here. I travel(led) to fashion weeks and events around the world for the past 10 years shooting street fashion, backstage, editorials, lookbooks, and campaigns. Lots of people think I’m a “street style photographer” but…I do a lot more than that. Currently, however…I’m sitting on my ass in Nørrebro and I’m likely the happiest I’ve ever been.
How do you think Covid-19 will affect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term? How do you see the impact of Corona crisis on the general perception of fashion? Do you believe everything will just go back to normal after Covid-19, or how do you see it will be?
Well, currently, as stated, I’m not working. That opportunity has given me a lot of perspective. I’m of course worried about finances, but for the most part, it’s being a positive situation. That being said, I assume Fashion Week will resume. I HOPE not to the same extent as before. There are talks by the BFC and CFDA of combining women’s and men’s shows into one, and that could be wonderful. We would all have to travel less, reducing our massive carbon footprint. We would have more time for real life as well. That being said, the fashion industry is one of excess and glutony. So who knows…but I would love to see shows combined in order to reduce my impact on the environment, increase my mental health, and generally have a higher quality of life. People will likely go back to their original consumption levels once the economy bounces back, which is sad. I just hope that a percentage of them can see a bit clearer what is really a “need” and not just a “want”.
How do you spend your Quarantine time and are you still able to create while being quarantined?
I ride my bike. A lot. As of today I’ve ridden 6488km this year. Last year I rode 7000km for the whole year. I’m exploring the beautiful countryside of Denmark, seeing more than likely most Danes have! It’s an incredible experience, and I bring along a camera and shoot some of the pastoral landscapes I find. You can see that all on my website in the travel section.
What is in your planning or was in your planning for this year and how will Covid -19 effect that?
I mean…my job is travel. And that has halted. I have been in Copenhagen since March 8th, and I dont have a fashion week to look forward to until CPHFW in mid August. I have a flight to Seattle/Tacoma on July 3rd to visit my mom for the month, and I hope I’m able to take it. All of my jobs and other travel has been cancelled. It’s been a bummer, I was meant to be in Mallorca and Girona to ride. Then Utah right now to ride. London Men’s FW should be starting in a few days, but that’s cancelled. Pitti is moved to September. Milan and Paris mens are cancelled or moved to September. Couture is cancelled. It’s wild. But I’m loving being domestic. Buying groceries. Riding my bike. Doing NOTHING. This interview is the only thing in my planner for today aside from a gravel ride later tonight and then dinner with a friend. It’s pretty great to have NOTHING to do.
What is the coolest new thing you have learnt since being quarantined and how did you learn it?
I ran 700+km this year prior to being stuck in DK. I lost 500g. I’ve ridden 6500km (I’d say the approximate equal to running 700km) and I’ve lost 10kg. Seeing how your body works when you’re not travelling, when you can have a routine. Eating better (slightly) and having lower stress has done wonders for me. It’s been awesome. Also seeing how people have come together in their isolation is pretty incredible. In Denmark people really followed the rules for the most part. We didnt get hit too hard here, but it was great to see people really doing their part to slow the spread.
Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your resume.
I’m a neat-freak. I spend most of my free time of the bike cleaning and redecorating my apartment in Nørrebro. I walk around lining up books, wiping down dusty surfaces, polishing off the calcium stains from the hard Danish water. Vacuumming like a motherfucker (send me free stuff, Dyson!). My apartment is finally feeling like a home, and that’s such a nice change to Airbnbs and hotels 300 days a year.
What's the first place you'd want to go when it's safe again to travel and go out of our homes and why there?
If I could go anywhere it would be home to Tacoma. If it’s not going to be a “home” place then I’d go to Tbilisi, Georgia. The FW was cancelled there in May, and I’m really missing Khatchapuri and the Georgian landscapes and people.
What is the first thing you like to do when you wake up, and last thing you like to do before going to bed?
Boil water and make coffee. Before bed, I watch netflix for the first time in a decade. Before this, I had an account but only my mom used it as I was too busy with work.
What is your favorite painting and has it inspired you for any of your work thus far?
Hmmmmm…that’s hard. Probably Guernica or The Third of May 1808. They are both hard hard hard subjects, but I love these paintings. They are especialy relevant in this moment of horrible police brutality in the USA. Subjugated people being further subjugated or killed by the establishment. History repeating. I dont see how they can inspire my work in anyway, but their images do live in my brain, and it’s important to recall these moments of struggle and pain in order to remember how lucky we are in our cozy little bubbles.
What is your work-out routine like, especially nowadays with more time on your hands?
Wake up, ride, ride, ride, coca-cola, rideriderideride, home, shower, falafel pita…sleep. I rode 926km last week and I feel like I’m unstoppable now. I’m not trying to be faster. Not trying to be better. Just trying to explore, use my body, get a nice ugly tan from the Lycra, and see/hear/smell/feel the world that’s outside the city.
Are you able to rest during this time of stillness?
200%. I like to be busy, but excercise if cathartic for me, so working out is rest for my brain.
What do you miss the most during these times?
My friends from FW. My mom. My friends back home. That’s about it. Nothing else from “before” seems that important anymore.
INSTAGRAM: @ AKS and @AdamKatzSinding
portrait of Adam by Willem Sizoo
and all images in the article by AKS