grey93 is not a single individual, but a collective of five people that share a similar aesthetic, perspective and conceptual understandings of what photography, fashion and design are. The account was initially conceived three years ago as a polyphonic platform to share the things they saw and to follow the people that inspired them. grey93 served as a curated archive of images that the founders would continually refer back to, but also share with their growing following. As tastemakers and key individuals across the design industry started taking notice of the account, grey93 began its meteoric rise in popularity. Instagram now serves something more than just a platform to share images, but also a place to network and communicate with like-minded individuals, in effect greeting new means of creativity.
The questions for this interview was done with the founder of grey93, but the questions were sent to the team prior.
Where do you live right now?
I currently live in Toronto.
What do you like most about your city in relation to art, design, and fashion?
The hunger to get creative. People in Toronto realize that the spot light is on them right now. Especially in fashion design. I believe that Toronto and other Canadian cities have a lot to prove. Theres also a lot of networking. Every where you go you meet somebody thats doing something creative.
To be honest, I believe Drake has a lot to do with the hype. He really made people aware of Toronto on an international level. Even Canada in general.
You plan to stay in Canada after University?
I think i'll stay in Canada for a while. Especially in Toronto.
What’s is your goal at the moment?
My main aim for fashion is to have a store and merge that with our creative endeavours - graphic design and music.
In the basement we would have a creative studio and the upstairs would be a retail store front. Carrying underground labels that are local and international. Brands that you find on the internet, not just internet looking brands.
Describe the team
We all came to Canada 7 years ago. All five of us from Nigeria for university. We run the brand FUR CRUCI in addition to grey93.
Theres a graphic designer, called Vudu and he’s also a DJ. He’s got the technical skills to help us create the graphics.
Most of the designs for FUR CRUCI are made by him. All five of us bounce ideas back and forth. Most of our conversations are done off iMessage and FaceTime because we all live in different parts of the city. The fonts and colors. We all push those ideas to Vudu and then he comes out with our the designs.
There’s Aro-G, he runs @gelbsy
There’s Jetwave, Popson and I. We do a lot of referencing and researching, marketing and prepare the ideas to Vudu. Popson and Aro-g handle the financing and accounting side of the brand.
Who is your favourite current designer?
This was a hard question but I have to give it to Virgil. You can really see the progression from where he started and what he’s done now. Starting with Superfun, Trap Music and Pyrex and now he’s designing dresses for Paris Fashion Week. It’s an inspiration for sure.
Have you met a lot of people from Instagram?
60% of our followers are from Europe so when they come to Canada we try to link up with them. We’ve also met a lot of fly kids in Canada, its not just in Europe, Canada’s just a little quieter but the country’s changing a lot.
Sometimes I wonder who the designer of your post is, but theres not hash tag or description. I like that. It creates a mystery around your posts.
We chose to do this because we really want to focus on the visuals and pay attention to the details of the photo. We don’t want to name drop because this takes away from the actual content that’s in the image.
We like to create the aura of “what is this?” but it’s mainly to focus on the photography. The first is the photography then second would be the clothing or whatever the subject is.
We always make sure the photos are HD, unless it’s purposely not HD for the aesthetics.
For many people, Instagram started out as a place to use a filter now its became something that almost represents an experience. How do you see it?
A lot of people don’t use Tumblr or Facebook anymore, so what we try to do is bring that experience to Instagram. Especially all the new designers and shows you see during fashion week. It’s a way to express our taste and propose to people what we’re into.
I also see it as a networking platform. That’s actually how we find all our models for FUR CRUCI. For example we worked with @corrupted.coffin where we met on Instagram. It’s also been a way for us to connect and ask questions to people who have experience in the industry we’re into.
What's your favourite Instagram at the moment?
This was another tough question cause we follow like 900 people. But at the moment it’s@gelbsy for fashion
The craziest was last year. A guy from DONDA (Kanye’s creative agency) wanted some reference images and ideas for a project. Unfortunately I can’t talk about the project.
What was the first image you saw that inspired you to start what you have right now?
Hautebanter also inspired me to start the page.
How has social media change your sense or perception on viewing fashion?
It exposed me to a lot more. Especially underground brands. Before Instagram I was looking out for underground brands, but now it’s made it a lot easier.
Instagram’s also taught me a lot as I was just constantly feeding myself information and then I started posting more often and every time I posted something, something new would pop up and I would find even more new ideas. One thing I really about Instagram is when it’s fashion week and you explore, you just see everything. It almost feels like you’re there. This Instantaneous effect has taught me a lot.
How would you describe the style?
My kind of style will be very European inspired. Recently i’ve been inspired by the early UK rave scene. Back in the 80s, 90s. Clothes that were more looser.
UK rave scene and American Hip Hop I would say. Pharrell and Kanye were big inspirations when I was back in Nigeria, when I was growing up I would just sit in front of MTV.
What is your favourite photo of all time?
text: Aaron Gray
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