Wavy Women highlights various industry professionals currently leading the game with their brazen creativity and forward-thinking style.
Our latest Wavy Woman features Yasmin Suteja, the Sydney-based photographer, talent agent and Creative Director of Culture Machine, one of the city’s most influential creative agencies. At just 24-years-old, the Balinese/Greek talent has already shot a bevy campaigns for brands like TIGERMIST and ABRAND and has become one of Sydney’s most promising young creatives.
We asked Yasmin a few questions to find out more about her personal style, what first piqued her interest in fashion, her greatest career achievements and more. Read what she had to say below, then peep our last installment with London’s go-to grime photographer, Vicky Grout.
What was the thing that first got you interested in fashion?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in photography and style. I remember organizing shoots with my high school friends every weekend – making moodboards and styling from our combined wardrobes.
I became really interested in fashion photography when I moved back to Bali with my mum. I started working with teams – stylists, makeup artists, etc – and became really interested in all aspects of the image-making process. Fashion photography is about creating a fantasy / heightened reality – and that really gets me excited!
What was your first big gig?
My first big campaign shoot was for TIGERMIST with Sahara Ray and Mimi Elashiry. This was instrumental in establishing Culture Machine as a media company in Bali. My next big gig was shooting the first ABRAND campaign. I have worked with ABRAND ever since, and just shot my second campaign and nationwide window for GLUE store!
Tell us about your day to day.
This is a really difficult question to answer! Every day is totally different. Some days I’m on the streets shooting, sometimes I’m at my computer responding to emails, sometimes I’m talking over the phone about booking a job for Kath, Luka or Avalon! But to be honest, most of the time I’m in front of my desktop editing photos and retouching on my graphics tablet (editing is 80% of a commercial photographer’s job!).
If you weren’t doing what you are now, where would you work?
I probably would have pursued music. I used to sing growing up and I’m really keen to get back into it ! I’m certain I would have ended up in the creative industry in some capacity. I think if I had it over, I would have taken a more traditional approach and worked my way up at an advertising agency. But I’m pretty stoked with how things have panned out!
Describe your current style.
My style has changed dramatically! When I finished high school, I remember wearing body-con dresses and platform heels out at night! Now I don’t even own a pair of heels and basically live in my docs. When I lived in Bali, I would only ever wear white-on-white, crochet and linen and cowboy boots! I was terrified of color, and thought that wearing black would make me look too harsh. Kale, my boyfriend, introduced me to black jeans and band shirts.
My muse and the face of Culture Machine, Kath Ebbs, has also been a huge influence. She introduced me to layering (I wear a turtle neck all through winter), denim-on-denim and baseball caps.
Who or what are you currently inspired by?
I’m very inspired by the people around me – the ones I am fortunate to call my “team”! You’ll see them appear all over Culture Machine.
I’m always looking to film and music for inspiration. I’m fortunate to have parents who have always supported and encouraged me in all of my creative endeavors – I did a BA in Media Arts and Production at UTS, which introduced me to film theory.
I think that the key to being a great creative is having a bank of knowledge and resources to draw on – having an understanding of movements in art and culture and reinterpreting them within the context of the current times, as well as your own unique position within it.
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life so far?
I’m constantly working towards the next thing – I’m always looking forward and hardly ever look back. So it’s hard to pinpoint an exact moment or accomplishment. Overall, I’m really humbled and grateful with where Culture Machine is at, and the response we’ve had especially in the last year. We have a great team and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done and what we represent.
What is your most treasured item of clothing and why?
I don’t really get very attached to clothing – my style is quite malleable. In saying that, I invested in a $300 Topshop leather jacket last year (the biggest clothing purchase I’ve ever made) and I wear it almost every day! It has faded over time (and from wearing it in the Bali sun) and I love the vintage look it’s acquired!
Where do you want to be in the next five years?
I’d like to grow Culture Machine into a full-service production company with an in-house team, an office in Sydney and international clients.
Dream collaboration? (with whom and what would you create?)
I’d love to shoot Devon Aoki – I am obsessed with her face! Her campaign for KENZO is still one of my all-time favorites.
I would love to work on an Annie Leibovitz set because she was a huge inspiration throughout my studies. I love the way that she approaches portraiture photography and develops stories and characters around her subjects. I also love the visual puns in a lot of her work. Her documentary Life Through A Lens was particularly inspiring.
Check out Sisyphe’s SS17 lookbook for more wavy women’s streetwear vibes.