Alexander Roth Is Dior's Freshest Creative Force

Alexander Roth Is Dior's Freshest Creative Force

"I like to capture moments with what I’m given. Plain and simple."

"I like to capture moments with what I’m given. Plain and simple."

Photography: Nick DeLito

Styling: Alexander Roth

Text: Brooke Kushwaha

Alexander Roth doesn't consider himself a photographer. The NYC-based creative is best known for his candid polaroids of New York Fashion Week (in the style of Gigi Hadid's own @gisposable), he considers himself merely a vehicle of the moment. Roth is an active member of the New York City art scene, interspersing his various collaborations with a steady modeling career. His Instagram, @alexanderdroth, has gained nearly 40,000 followers, and Roth supplements the feed with his own original photography, life updates, and artwork. Most recently, Roth partnered with the iconic fashion house Dior on a new editorial (shot by Nick DeLito, styled by Roth, and makeup by Erin Esparza). VMAN asked the rising star about his beginnings in New York, his creative inspirations, and what kind of art he wants to see in the world.

You’re based in NYC. Are you from here? What brought you to the city?

I grew up on Long Island and then went to college in Maryland. I came right to the city afterwards. Growing up so close to the city, I knew I wanted to end up here, one way or another.

What's your favorite part of working in New York?

Everyone’s focus is not just in one bucket; it’s common for people to dip their hands in multiple waters, which is the new norm. Also, New York City might be big but it’s also very small — everyone knows each other through some degree of separation.

Describe an ideal day for you, whether you’re working or on vacation. 

Wake up around 9am, egg sandwich made by Dawn from the deli on my block for breakfast. Get ready and head to wherever we’re shooting or working for the day. The whole crew is made up of friends or people whose work I admire. That’s when I feel we create the best product. For lunch, a Katsu Sando from Lost In The Sauce. Then back to set, finish work, hopefully play with someones dog somewhere in there, most likely Pepe Rosso carbonara pasta for dinner. Definitely end with a Marvel movie.

What are some essentials you never leave home without?

This sounds corny, but I try not to leave the house without being in a positive headspace; it shapes how you go into your day. You’re only as good as the energy you keep. Then, of course, phone, wallet, chapstick and keys.

Who are some artists you look up to?

The word “artist” is evident in any creative industry, so I have a bunch. Helmut Newton, Jonathan Anderson, Jack Vettriano, Rei Kawakubo, John Galliano, to name a few. And a lot of members of the young New York scene, everyone is shaping their craft. It’s inspiring to watch.

Earlier this year, you released some iconic NYFW disposables showing a lighter side of fashion week. What prompted you to go for a more informal tone with that project?

I think personality really shines through a photo more than anything. We see so many candid moments in magazines, social, web, etc., and generally I think we’re more attracted to spontaneity. We look for people’s true selves to shine through photos, raw emotion at that exact moment, you know? I just wanted to show exactly what I saw, but more importantly, I wanted to show a more personal and brighter side to an event [Fashion Week]. As of late, it’s had a negative connotation associated with it. Having the photos taken with @manual_nyc disposables gives it a novelty that digital or iPhone photos just don’t have. There’s a nostalgic quality to it, more than anything; you look at a photo and you’re like, “Yeah, I wanna keep that shit.”

In what ways do you attempt to capture the personality of your subjects when you’re shooting?

I don’t really consider myself a photographer. That would require me to me well-versed in the technicalities of it all. I like to capture moments with what I’m given. Plain and simple.

What elements of Dior did you want to capture with the latest editorial?

I wanted to keep the looks simple to show the elegance of each piece. Dior’s DNA is with tailoring and couture, Kim is a master of both and blends them seamlessly. His love for collaborating with artists and friends is evident and inspiring. Collaborating with people I admire is always my plan when it comes to projects like these. Nick’s photography is unmatched and Erin is Picasso with with a makeup brush, they're so easy to work with. Also, I love playing with the things that bring me the feeling of nostalgia. Each shoot location are places from my childhood where I would spend a lot of time and have some of my best memories with my family.

How does the creative process differ when you’re working alone vs. collaborating with a major brand?

It’s pretty much the same, honestly. I want to keep the integrity of the brand visible in the final product, but with my own touch. I’ve definitely developed a process by now. I’m always second guessing myself and asking everyone for their opinion even if they’re not well-informed on the topic. I like to understand as many view points as I can to see how something might be perceived.

What kind of photography do you wish you saw more of in the world?

I think we're exposed to it all with social media. We’re at the point where the bigger names are using the more uncommon or younger artists. I think its great but there is a fine line between using someone because you believe they’re a good fit and using someone for views.

View the editorial here:

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