The Renowned Artist Maripol Discusses Photography and Fashion

In an age when most photographs are snapped on digital cameras and smartphones, French-born artist Maripol prefers a classic medium, one that was popularized in the 1940s: the Polaroid.

Maripol was a staple in New York’s arts and culture scene in the ’80s. Having styled the likes of Madonna (the singer’s getup on the Like a Virgin album cover was Maripol’s handiwork) and run in the same circles as Andy Warhol and the Interview magazine crowd, Maripol was able to capture a multitude of behind-the-scenes moments at the hotspots of the time, like Studio 54, all on her Polaroid camera.

During the BOSS spring/summer 2016 presentation at New York Fashion Week, Maripol could be found in the midst of the Park Avenue pre-show flurry, doing what she does best: capturing behindthe- scenes moments—on Polaroid film, of course. S/ magazine spoke with the artist about her work, her inspiration, and her partnership with the German heritage brand.

How were you introduced to the fashion world?

I was a natural fashionista when I was a teenager. For me, fashion is not only a necessity; it’s about beauty. I’ve always been an original, and ahead of my time. Sometimes that’s counterproductive so I breathe fashion, meaning, I love fashion. After all, don’t we have to get dressed? One time, someone asked me how long it takes me to get dressed like this in the morning, and I said, “It takes me as long as it takes you to get dressed in the morning.” Those were the punk days.

What is the creative process like working with BOSS designer Jason Wu?

There is no need to talk too much—we understand each other’s sensibility. He’s amazing at seeing an edit quicker than I do, and there is no waste of time.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from within me. I really never go into magazines to look for ideas. I think we would have way more original ideas if everyone weren’t looking at other people’s work; we would have much more original designs. We have a tendency to look at the past, but sometimes I feel like everything has been done. Yet there is always room for new ideas. I love to work with my hands, so anything to do with cutting or moulding is important to me. As for photography, I see beauty in everything.

What fascinates you most about Polaroids?

I love the instant, and to discover the image. It takes a while to develop, and you never know what you’re going to get, so it adds to the mystery. I only shoot Polaroids.


Photos by Maripol, courtesy of Hugo BOSS.