meeting afshan

i met afshan during ramadan last year (2016), and she was that pouty, annoyed, “dont talk to me” kind of teenager that scowled at me any time i asked her a question. her sister, nazeela, and i spent some actual time over the course of the following eleven months sans teenage pouting and scowling (well, some scowling. but never directed at each other), and by the time afshan returned to new york, i had become a trustworthy and vetted figure for her to work with. she begged me to do a shoot with her. BEGGED!!

listen, it’s necessary to be a little dramatic with these blog posts. we agreed to shoot together, as we both were becoming more involved with instaculture, and nazeela was growing tired of being the harassed middleman between afshan and me. this was afshan’s first organized shoot and - with no added dramatics, i explain our process - sent me twenty outfits to choose from. and a dozen more questions. every ten minutes. “my shoes? what shoes? my hair? how do i do my hair? accessories? jewelry? do you like these shoes? i’m not sure. which shoes? this is the hairstyle that works? isn’t that only good for white girls? what about shoes?”

this was quite the exercise for me, as well, i’ve never styled someone before. so i pointed to a bunch of things (“i like the orange keffiyeh pants” “they’re not pants” “what the hell are they?” “idk a thing i wrapped into pants” “so they’re pants” “yeah i guess they’re pants”), we met up, sans nazeela, our buffer, and we split our time shooting and talking about why we bother with social media and how to develop it for ourselves instead of for other people.

afshan has since grown from being that annoying teenager brat to being my little sister who i scold almost every week for being an annoying teenager brat. well, that and we continually discuss ideas, concepts, philosophies, and i’ll turn to her for advice on my own teenager brat behavior, as well. a mutually respected relationship that has since produced worthwhile photography instead of simple streetwear instaposts - an established commitment for our collaborations in the future. 

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