Koto Bolofo [Lesotho]
[Image credit: Koto Bolofo – La Maison]
Koto Bolofo is one of the most prolific fashion photographers of his generation. Born in Lesotho and raised in the UK; Koto’s portfolio includes iconic photography for fashion and lifestyle’s elite from magazines like Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair to editorials and advertising campaigns for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Dom Pérignon. Now residing in Vendée, France Koto has several books to his name capturing in print his often evocative photography. Releasing this year is a collection of images exploring and documenting the rich heritage of Hermès, significant in making Koto the first-ever photographer to be granted unlimited access to the revered fashion House’s secret workshops. Portrayed through eleven hardcover volumes, the project entitled ‘La Maison’ is the result of four years of painstaking work. Through the medium of photography, Koto examines every angle of Hermès’ exceptional craftsmanship from the famous ‘Kelly’ bag to saddles, scarves and footwear; even taking in the different types of sewing needles used for the various tasks and the labels that end up on the finished product. Koto also had access to the private Hermès museum which documents the company’s journey.
[Image credits: Inside Spreads, Koto Bolofo – La Maison]
The story of how Koto Bolofo’s partnership with Hermès came about is now consigned to Hermès’ history. Koto Bolofo met the Chairman of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas in 2002; who upon enquiring where the photographer was from became very excited when told Lesotho. It transpired that the Chairman’s great-great-great-grandfather was a missionary in Lesotho and it was the Sotho’s; the tribe Koto belongs to that protected him from frequent attacks from other tribes. And it was because of this Jean-Louis Dumas extended the hand of friendship, calling Koto ‘cousin’ and giving the photographer carte blanche to photograph whatever he liked in Hermès. Of the meeting Koto says he ‘…was very happy to be a Lesothan… that day’, …I’m sure he was.
[Image credits: Covers, Koto Bolofo – La Maison]
…not just for avid fashionistas, ‘La Maison’ is a beautiful thought-provoking portrayal of one company’s legacy and dedication to excellence that will show the story for years to come.
When released will cost approx: £149 / US$238 / €175
Available to pre-order on Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk and Amazon USA: www.amazon.com
To find out more about Koto Bolofo and his work visit: www.art-dept.com/artists/bolofo
For further information on the book visit: www.steidlville.com