Hikmat Wehbi

Hikmat Wehbi Institute: How did your career in photography begin?

Hikmat: As a child, I always wanted to end up working in a job that allows me to express myself artistically. I tried different things until I met an inspirational photographer and visited him at his dark room back then and experimented with photography. It came natural to me and I started working in a local newspaper in Beirut as their main photographer and won few awards. I knew that this is my passion and never looked back since then.

Hikmat Wehbi 2Institute: Who did you aspire to growing up?

Hikmat: Helmut Newton. I admire how he has followed what he believed is art and created a new school not caring about the society’s approval, which in my opinion is true art.

Institute: What are you currently working on?

Hikmat: I am now working on a photo shoot in New York. As I have always fantasised about women’s beauty in different shapes and forms, my shoot will capture their natural beauty away from the stereotype thin models that we see everyday.

Hikmat Wehbi 3Institute: How was 2015 for you?

Hikmat: It was quite an eye opening experience for me as I have worked on a lot of client’s briefs and delivered countless of shoots based on their creative direction which made me realise that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. If you want to deliver art you need to work solo and not be limited to anyone’s directions and this is why I try to do my own shoots at least twice a year where I go back to basics and just work on projects that let me express myself.

Institute: Do you have an all time favourite image?

Hikmat: My last image is always my favourite until a new one is born.

Hikmat Wehbi 4Institute: What is your creative process?

Hikmat: I look at the end result and think backwards. I imagine the idea in my head and then work with my team to put together the right elements. Sometimes I just carry my camera and shoot beauty anywhere I see it with no planning, Those are usually photos that are dear to me heart.

Institute: What has been your proudest moment to date?

Hikmat: When I launched my Czech, the women. exhibition in Dubai last year. I saw the admiration from people and the public for my work and that made me fee proud and eager to work on my own photo shoots more.

Hikmat Wehbi 5Institute: What career path would you of taken if not photography?

Hikmat: I can’t remember loving anything other than photography but I would say a psychiatrist.

Hikmat Wehbi 6Institute: What do you think of taking photos with your phone?

Hikmat: As Nick Knight once said, we are no longer photographers but image makers. The medium does not matter if you are truly artistic. Today’s iPhone technology is as good as a Hasselblad once was.

Institute: What does 2016 hold for you?

Hikmat: Definitely more freedom with my work and more traveling. I would like to make another exhibition in 2016 that can take people back to basics with beauty and art through the magical medium of photography.

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Oh Land

Institute: Do you remember the first time you realised you wanted to become a musician?

Oh Land: I never gave it much thought, it just happened naturally so that suddenly everything I did was to make music and after a while I was like “wow- I guess I’m a musician”.

Institute: Both your parents are musicians, do they ever offer advice?

Oh Land: My Mom is always critical of my performances. I guess she can’t put her work aside. It’s in her blood being a vocal coach. But I think she has understood that I have my own idea of how to sound and she is fully supportive of that.

Institute: Your mother is a classically trained opera singer, how would you say that has influenced you?

Oh Land:  I grew up with singing and lots of it. Opera is pretty flamboyant and I think that definitely influenced my style in music. I like when it’s big sounding with lots of strings and layers.

Institute: You used to look in the mirror and see a dancer, what do you see now?

Oh Land: I see myself detached of anything I do. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Everyone else wants to put a label on you, why would you want to do that to yourself.

Institute: Do you still have a love of dance?

Oh Land: I love dance and the freedom of the movement. I often picture myself doing a million pirouettes.

Institute: Does living in New York heavily influence your writing?

Oh Land: I am influenced by people and stories more than places. But there was definitely an infatuation phase when I moved to New York, I wrote a few songs about the city. White nights is inspired by NYC.

Institute: What has been your biggest highlight to date?

Oh Land: As much as I love being a support act I think headlining my own shows always leaves the biggest impression. Watching people sing along to my music, everything melts together.

Institute: Do you have a personal favourite Oh Land track?

Oh Land: It changes all the time with my mood. When I’m sad it’s the darker ones like Lean and Wolf and I.

Institute: What is your all time favourite song?

Oh Land: I have alot. “Because” by Beatles. “I Play Dead” by Bjork. “Idioteque” by Radiohead…..”Where is My Mind” by Pixies.

Institute: Does fashion enhance your performance?

Oh Land: I think clothes are definitely a big part of appearances and artistic expression. I always dress like the emotions in my songs.

Institute: As a musician do you feel more aware of the way you dress?

Oh Land: As a child the dressers from The Royal Danish Opera House would look after me while my Mom was on stage, clothes and fashion have always been a big part of my life. I spend alot of time collaborating with designers to create the perfect atmosphere for my shows.

Edoardo Ballerini

EdoardoBallerini Interview

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Institute: What made you take the career path as an actor?

Edoardo: It’s an odd story. I was studying Latin in Rome the summer after I graduated from college and I saw an call for American actors. It looked intriguing, and I was bored, so I thought I’d check it out. From there, it all kind of rolled. I ended up joining that theater company of ex-pats, then came back to New York and started studying, and before I knew it I was on a set. I’ve never looked back.

Institute: Can you tell us about your character Frank Goodnight in the BBC drama Ripper Street?

Edoardo: Frank Goodnight was an absolutely delicious role. Two parts bastard, one part enigma. Without giving too much away, he’s a Pinkerton Detective that has a backstory with Homer Jackson (played by Adam Rothenberg), and ends up traveling to London to settle a score. I had a wonderful experience on “Ripper Street.” The cast, crew and director were all brilliant. I didn’t want it to end.

Institute: What attracted you to the part?

Edoardo: First off, I was delighted to be asked, When I read the part I started salivating. There was something that ran deep in Goodnight, something that made him who he was, and I wanted to find it. And I like playing bad guys. They’re more challenging. You have to find a way to be liked while you’re disliked. If an audience just hates you, you’ve failed. You have to find something appealing and intriguing, even if the part calls for you to do awful things. It’s a tricky balance. It can be much tougher than playing the hero.

I also particularly love period pieces, and I’ve done a few now (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” the feature film “No God, No Master” with David Strathairn, my own short film on Rudolph Valentino, a pilot last year for ABC) and I’d known about “Ripper Street” for a while. It had also been a lifelong dream to work in Europe. I grew up between New York and Milan, and I practically moved to London years back, but never actually worked abroad. On top of all that, “Ripper Street” filmed in Dublin, which was a further treat for me. In a different life I was something of a James Joyce scholar, so I got to plunge back into some of my old scholarly pursuits while I was there. It was a perfect combination for me.

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Institute: Do you ever become emotionally involved with your characters?

Edoardo: When I was younger, I did get caught up emotionally with my characters, yes. Less so now. Years ago I did a film called “Dinner Rush.” I played a chef. Danny Aiello was my father, and one of the story lines was our battle for the restaurant. When we wrapped filming, I walked off the set and started weeping. I’d lived in the character for weeks and it was like he died. I’m still enormously fond of that film.

Institute: Does your costume complete your character transformation?

Edoardo: Costumes, especially in period dramas, make the man. They really do. When I first got a look at myself in Frank Goodnight’s clothes for “Ripper Street” I thought, “Oh, hello. There you are.” I’d say the same about sets, too. When I saw the backlot at Clancy Barracks in Dublin, I could see the world in a way it was impossible to before.

Institute: Do you have any great inspirations?

Edoardo: I take inspiration wherever I can find it. I think that may be the Joycean in me. Putting together seemingly random and disparate pieces into a big puzzle in my head. A guy standing on the subway platform can be as moving to me as a Picasso or any other great work of art. If I get to the end of the day and feel like I haven’t been inspired, I know that I just wasn’t paying attention.

Institute: When was the first time you realized you wanted to become an actor?

Edoardo: As I say, I kind of slid into becoming an actor. There was no single “Aha!” moment where I thought I had to be on stage or on screen. But I do remember my first time on a professional set. It was the show “Law & Order.” I was playing an autistic boy, and I was petrified. To the point where I could barely do anything. When we finished filming the first day, I went back to my trailer to get changed. There was a knock on the door and Matthew Penn, the episode’s director, was standing there. I thought maybe he’d come to tell me I’d been fired. Instead he smiled and said, “You did great today.” That might have been the moment I realized I could do this.

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Institute: Could you single out a person who has had a profound impact on you in the last 5 years?

Edoardo: Picking one single person is tough. The last five years have been quite transformative. They’ve been shaped by all sorts of people – friends and family, colleagues and strangers, and full of triumphs and failures. I made some bold changes to myself and my life, my work and career, and I’m happy to say that a lot of what I’ve set out to do, I’ve been able to do. I’m looking forward to the next five years.

Institute: Do you have a preference when it comes to TV, film and theatre?

Edoardo: I prefer film, to be honest. Stage is marvelous, but has never felt like my true home. There’s a decided thrill and magic to live performance, of course, but for whatever reason, it never really got its hooks in me. Television is a great place to work, especially on the cable shows, but can get bogged down by its own formulas after a while. Even the best of the best shows struggle to stay fresh, it seems. But film is where the grand experiments can really take place, particularly on the independent level. That’s what has always interested me. I’d rather try something and have it fail, than do the same old thing over and over.

Institute: How do you keep yourself occupied in-between projects?

Edoardo: In-between film and tv projects these days I do a great deal of narration work. I’m pleased to say that a book I voiced last year called “Beautiful Ruins” was twice cited as “Best of 2012,” first by Salon.com, then by Audible.com. It’s a whole new branch of my career, and I’m loving it. Every project is a one-man show. Beyond that, I have film projects of my own that I’m either in post-production or pre-production on, so there’s never a moment’s rest these days.

Institute: What are you working on at the moment?

Edoardo: I have two main projects right now, one is a feature film called “Omphalos” that is nearly complete. A brilliant young director named Gabriel Judet-Weinshel wrote it, and we produced it together. The second is a film project still in its infancy, but that I’m hoping to shoot over the course of the year. It’s one of those grand experiments I mentioned earlier, so we’ll see where it leads. Other than that, I’ll just keep looking around and enjoy the inspiration all around me.

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Scott Lipps

Institute: What is your diary looking like at the moment Scott?

Scott: Managing talent every day and running ONE mgmt. I usually have 5-10 meetings a day with ad agencies, photographers, models, etc. Going on shoots, a bit of travelling for work, attending fashion and cultural events. Basically 24 hours of nonstop madness… that’s my life.

Institute: How was NYFW for you and your models?

Scott: It is always a lot of work, but if you break a few new clients every season its worth it. The market in NY is flooded with models from all over and from quite a lot of agencies…thankfully we had Marine, Elsa, Sarah Engelland and some others do very well…from the YSL exclusive to other great shows…

Institute: It’s clear to see you have a great relationship with your clients. How do you create the perfect balance of business and pleasure?

Scott: You always have to maintain a level of professionalism on top of the business, but we are like a family, so I’m lucky to have such a close relationship with them all…ultimately you see your team and the models more than you see your actual family so it’s important to get along well.

Institute: What qualities do you look for in a new model?

Scott: There’s not one thing, but personality, proportions and that certain star quality are super important. Sometimes you just know it when you see it…a year and a half ago when Carola walked in, we all knew she had the “it” factor. Since then she’s done 4 international Vogue covers.

Institute: Who are the ‘Ones to Watch’ from ONE?

Scott: Sarah Engelland who did a worldwide YSL exclusive in Paris this season, Chloe was in Bazaar this month and did a shoot for Uniqlo, Marine who had a great show season, and, of course Carola.

Institute: Do you have an all time favorite model?

Scott: I think Christy Turlington is such an iconic talent and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met but of course all of the models we rep at ONE are my favorite!

Institute: What has been a stand-out out moment in your career so far?

Scott: I think the fact that we continue to sign A-level talent like Karolina Kurkova and that we are expanding into so many areas of the business that others have not, from social media to building real brands with clothing lines, fragrances, cosmetic deals and licensing deals. It all keeps it exciting.

Institute: What is the secret to your success?

Scott: Not sleeping! And working 24-7.

Institute: You also play the drums in Hole, can you tell us more about that?

Scott: It’s been an amazing experience. I played in front of maybe 40,000 people with Kanye West and The Black Eyed Peas last year with HOLE! We aren’t in a touring cycle, so there have been just a few shows this year and some recording, but when we do, its on a massive level and amazing.

Institute: How do you find time to play in a band and run one of the most successful modelling agencies in the world?

Scott: Because we have only made a few appearances in the last 15 months it’s been totally fine to juggle both, plus I don’t sleep!

Institute: You spend a lot of time in LA. What made you set up your offices in New York?

Scott: I actually don’t spend too much time there anymore, but I used to live there. And for the celebrity endorsement things we do, I need to be there every now and then, and to sign talent etc. But NYC is the epicenter for fashion, hence, our office is here.

Institute: What has been the most surreal experience since starting One Management?

Scott: The fact that we have survived and prospered where others have not, and we continue to grow and expand.

Institute: How do you feel when you see actors/actress’s becoming the face of fashion campaigns?

Scott: I think it’s a natural evolution and part of the process… models still sell well and its Ok to have a healthy balance.

Institute: What can we expect from One Management in 2013?

Scott: How much time do you have? More branding, expanding, and lots surprises to come.

Institute: What is an average day for Scott Lipps?

Scott: I think the above mentions it all but 80% fashion, some film, tv and cultural worlds and a bit of music thrown in for good measure!

Institute: Favorite fashion designer?

Scott: Love Rag & Bone for guys, think Balenciaga for women is great.

Institute: iPhone or Blackberry?

Scott: Love Macs, actually addicted too but Im a Blackberry guy. I couldn’t send 3000 emails a week on a Iphone….unless they design real buttons!

Institute: Do you have a favorite city?

Scott: LA….who doesn’t want to wake up in the sun everyday?

Institute: Favorite hotel?

Scott: Love the Hermitage in LA for the service & the Sunset Marquis for the Rock ‘n’ Roll aspect.

Institute: Favorite restaurant?

Scott: Could be Sugarfish in LA, Brentwood…Sushi at its finest!

Institute: Signature scent?

Scott: Water? I’m not really a big cologne guy.

Institute: Style icon?

Scott: Love cool Brit rockers like Paul Weller etc but wouldn’t say I dress like em.

Institute: Home is?

Scott: NYC & occasionally LA.

Institute: I hate?

Scott: Fake people.

Institute: I love?

Scott: The beach & sunshine!! And music of course, fashion, film, food!

Institute: Latest purchase?

Scott: My golden goose sneakers from Aloha Rag.

Institute: Currently listening to?

Scott: My new recordings with HOLE, coming out soon!!

Institute: You can never have too many?

Scott: Great leather jackets.

Institute: Beauty Tip?

Scott: Sleep.

Institute: Favorite Website?

Scott: Still going through my Twitter obsession & if I’m a bit biased, POPLIPPS.

Institute: Most inspiring person you met?

Scott: Steven Tyler.

Institute: Highlight of your career to date?

Scott: If you manifest it, it will happen… Having ONE management for nearly 11 years…

Institute: Favorite person to work with?

Scott: Anyone with a vision….creativity.

Institute: What are your thoughts on fashion?

Scott: Constantly evolving….I love where it’s going technology wise.

Institute: Where do you think trends are created?

Scott: With visionary people.

Gillian Zinser

Institute: Do you remember the first time you realised you wanted to become an actress?
Gillian: My mum took me to see ‘The Fantastiks’ off broadway when I was a kid and the opening scene was a girl my age praying at the foot of her bed pleading “Please God, PLEASE! Please don’t let me be normal!” I was an awkward kid trying to figure out where I fit in, and watching that character in that moment was so comforting and inspiring at that age where I felt so much pressure to conform to the ‘norm’ but didn’t really want to or know how to. The relief and inspiration that that one simple scene gave me was probably the first time I realized how powerful, effective, and inspirational performance could be.

Institute: Could you single out an actor or performance that has had a profound impact on you in the last five years?
Gillian: I dont know about five years, but some of the most influential performances in my lifetime have been…Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of a spotless mind Audrey Tattou in Amèlie Diane Keaton in Annie Hall Annette Bennington in Running with Scissors Juliette Binoche in Lovers on a Bridge Ryan Gosling in Lars and The Real Girl

Institute: What can you reveal about Liars All?
Gillian: Obsession. Ego. Lust. Revenge. Murder.

Institute: You play Missy, can you tell us about the character?
Gillian: Missy was a hard character to understand let alone empathize with in order to play her. She’s a dark creature, a wilted flower suffering from manic depression.

Institute: Do you like to do a lot of research into your roles?
Gillian: Yes. Although I’ve yet to work a role that requires the depth of research I’m eager to challenge myself with.

Institute: Do you ever become emotionally involved with your characters?
Gillian: Inevitably.

Institute: What was the most valuable lesson you learnt from being on set?
Gillian: Technicality, professionalism, and the importance of being a team player. I find there’s just absolutely no room for ego in this business.

Institute: What do you look for in a character or film?
Gillian: Meat. Dimension. A la ck of comfort. Something I’ve yet to fully explore within myself.

Institute: What are your thoughts on fashion today?
Gillian: I wouldn’t say I take fashion very seriously. I just look at it as another daily form of self expression to have fun with. I find inspiration in my moods and throw on what makes me feel good.

Institute: As an actress do you feel more aware of the way you dress?
Gillian: Perhaps less so. I get so used to people dressing me for the characters i play that when its time to take the costumes off and slip back into my own skin, i’m only left with the energy to be as comfortably myself as possible.

Institute: Where do you think trends are created?
Gillian: Through the infectious confidence of those unafraid to beat to their own drum.

Institute: Do you have a favourite fashion designer?
Gillian: Balmain. Zac Posen. Chloe. Kimberly Ovitz. Rick Owens.

Institute: Top five fashion essentials?
Gillian: Chuck Taylors. Leather biker jacket. Red lipstick. Old Levis . White Hanes t-shirts from Target.

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