We chat to fashion editor turned freelance stylist and street style photographer, Anka Itskovich about her project; The Line-Up. She fills her Instagram feed with images of stylish and creative people that she sees on the streets of the Lower East Side in NYC.
Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in fashion and street style?
My career in fashion began as an editorial assistant at Interview and Harper’s Bazaar Magazines and then as a Fashion Editor at Marie Claire Magazine. Now, I freelance as a Fashion Stylist for a variety of editorial and advertising clients. You can see some of my work here.
What inspired you to start ‘The Line-Up’?
As a long time resident of New York City’s East Village, I’ve documented the neighborhood’s counter culture spirit since the late 90’s, but the project only came into focus on Instagram. The square format is perfect for portraiture and the fluidity of digital technology has made it so much easier to capture the authentically cool feel of downtown street style and share it with curious, like minded people all over the world.
Most of your style images are based around the Lower East Side in New York. What are people like this side of town? How does their style differ to other parts of the city?
Downtown, or ‘below 14th street’ as New Yorkers call it, has always been a mecca for the young and the very epicenter of counterculture. It’s been a magnet for the arts, style and creativity for over a hundred years. It’s also where NYU, The Cooper Union, The New School and Parsons – all very progressive universities have their campuses. The mix of residents, tourists, students and the thousands who literally hang out below 14th St.on a daily basis, make downtown a very vibrant and dynamic area….all the way from the West Side’s Meatpacking District to the East Village and the Lower East Side.
What do you look for in the people your picture? What catches your eye?
I don’t really seek out people to photograph, I simply walk around the city. New Yorkers tend to wear a lot of black, so it’s often that a flash of color or a unique hairstyle or even an “aura” of self confidence that catch my eye. Over the years I’ve developed what I jokingly call ‘radar vision’ that instantly hones in on anyone who looks or dresses in an unconventional or unique way.
Do you have any insider tips about where we should be hanging out in the East Village? Can you tell us about some of the places you like to go?
I’d recommend spending some time discovering the neighborhood, you can easily dedicate a week to meandering around the Lower East Side. One of my favorite routes is a walk from Washington Square Park to Tompkins Square Park, it’s a scenic half a mile, that will take you through rumbustious and bustling St.Mark’s Place or the quieter East 9th Street, also known as Little Japan, where you’ll find a cluster of incredible Japanese street food stands and restaurants.
Is there something you have noticed a lot of people wearing this season that may be the start of a new trend? Or simply something you think just looks good.
Because NYC is so diverse, there’s never one style or one trend, one pattern though is always present – camouflage! And this year the classic military camp jacket is unisex and it’s printed on with an embossed logo or embroidered.