photographer / social media strategist / creative director / event producer / cultural liaison / speaker

Ohio Funk - Vans Vault x Sole Classics (120mm film)

Ohio Funk, a Sole Classics project

This lookbook shoot, and the entire preparation process (brainstorming themes, designing the shoes, researching the history, analyzing the culture, putting looks together) for this release has been very rewarding and inspiring. I’ve always been aware of Funk music of course, especially being a native of Dayton, OH, but I had never taken the time to really understand and appreciate it. The more I researched, the more inspired I became. I used to hate history class when I was growing up, it was boring and it never seemed to connect with me (a young Black American), but now history, ...OURstory, inspires and interests me greatly. So much of our history has been lost, destroyed, & stolen. Coming up in Dayton, we sadly heard more about the downfalls of the city 100x more often than we learned about its rich cultural history. Somehow, we got tricked into believing that whoever’s neighborhood was the “worst” was the “winner”, …we compared, competed, and took pride in “having it the worst”. I wish I knew how many legends were from my city & state when I was younger. I wish I knew that a lot of the sounds and traditions that still reverberate around the world today, came from the same place I came from. I wish I knew, but I’m glad I know now!

This shoot was designed to pay homage to the influence of Ohio’s Funk music history. These beautiful folks did a great job of embodying the feelings that Funk music created. Thanks for working with me.

Models: Chika OdemenaJoel SimsSam PhillipsAlena Newsome

Wardrobe: Smartypants Vintage (Columbus, OH), Mr. King JD’s Closet

Photography: James Drakeford 

Styling: James Drakeford

Direction: James Drakeford