Milo Keller has been the photographer of the COMING SOON lookbooks for the past four seasons. Milo, always accompanied by artistic director, Julien Gallico -more information there- has collaborated with Wallpaper*, Vogue Homme International, and Vogue Paris among others.
Milo, where are you from? Where did you grow up? What is your background?
I was born in Lugano, an Italian-speaking district, in the south of Switzerland. I am a perfect mix of Tessin (Italian Switzerland), German Switzerland, and Czech.
I had a comfortable childhood in Tessin, a region with a soft climate and lush vegetation.
When I was young, I wanted to be a sailor: go on a boat and sail around the world. When I was five, I took sailing classes, and then I got my skipper license.
When I finished high school, I passed the recruit school, which is unfortunately compulsory in Switzerland. I was afraid of going back to a very strict hierarchical system and to lose my friends, so I gave up the idea of setting sail.
My father is an architect, and I have always liked to visit a lot of buildings. I developed a sensitivity to architecture while making images. My father hates fashion whereas I am very attracted to this world that represents dreams and diversity.
I received my first camera for my baptism, it was a Japanese, a Yashica.
Convinced that I wanted to be involved in a creative job, I enrolled in ECAL (Art School of Lausanne) for photography.
While studying, I worked as a photographer and I tried everything…I even covered a wedding, and that was a catastrophe…
I have never photographed animals or children, even though I love cats.
At art school, I met a Basque boy, Julien [Gallico], and we began collaborating on several projects. He hated me at first (he acknowledged that later), and now he can tolerate me…Our collaboration has gone beyond the academic frame, and we still work together, on photography and artistic direction. Our images are minimal, “less is more”.
After I graduated in Lausanne, I moved to Paris. But I still travel to Switzerland to teach at ECAL and to see my girlfriend.
How did you begin your collaboration with Yohji Yamamoto?
I first met Coralie [Coralie Gauthier, communication director] through Julien, who had already worked for Yohji on several projects. My first job was shooting the F/W 2008-09 Yohji Yamamoto +Noir lookbook. The most interesting lookbook shot was the Y’s S/S 2009 catalogue, featuring curators wearing Y’s clothes.
And the last COMING SOON lookbook?
In the COMING SOON lookbooks, there is a way of showing clothes in a very clear, almost scientific way. Therefore I chose a strong and direct light.
The two models, Barnabé and Bojana were very professional and nice. Moreover, Barnabé knew my district of Tessin in Switzerland very well! Bojana was very tired because of jetlag but she heroically survived this long day of shooting.
What is your view of Yohji Yamamoto and COMING SOON clothing?
I like Yohji Yamamoto very much, since I think he is continuing his “clothing language” in a very coherent way. This is intelligent clothing.
I was once at a Yohji show backstage and it was very quiet, like before a concert of classical music. Yohji was on a chair, making signs like a conductor.
One of my favorite shirts is COMING SOON. I feel very comfortable in it and I think it looks like me…
What are your other collaborations? Who else do you work for?
With Julien, we have worked for Wallpaper*, Vogue Homme International, Vogue Paris, D la Repubblica delle Donne, Under the Influence, Icon, Air France Madame, Useless, and Frog.
And also for others clients: Balenciaga, PPR, Vitra, Esatablished & Sons, Wogg, Roger Vivier, Jaeger-Le-Coultre, Jean Louis Scherrer, and Afflelou.
Who are your favorite photographers?
I deeply respect the classics’ work: Avedon, Newton, Penn, Bourdin. I also like Inez & Vinoodh, Philip Lorca di Corcia, and Mikael Jansson.
Which cities do you like most?
Berlin is the best city in the world, young and creative. I also like the clash between tradition and modernity in London, Bombay, and Hong Kong. I like wandering at night in Madrid, strolling in autumn in Lisbon. When you know Milan and its secrets, you love it, and the same goes for Zurich.