akila berjaoui is the cover girl of my beloved bondi style book but beyond that she is an amazing photographer. some of her clients include shakuhachi, friend of mine and life with bird. she's done a bunch of work with alex spencer of 4th and bleeker, and work with other notable models like zippora seven. i love her work and being the face of a book that celebrates summer, there's no better person to speak to about inspiration, the art of living and fashion.
the token but perfect lead in, "what inspires you?"
what inspires me is the sea, the sun, architecture in old cities, cinema, fashion, my talented and creative friends, in particular my best friend kym ellery who is so incredibly unique in her vision and oh so driven it kills me! my beautiful boyfriend's face and perspective. photographically a model who just embodies something truly special and individual that inspires me to create beautiful imagery.
bondi style and your name allude to a swedish heritage (if this is the case) do you draw upon that for inspiration?
no. im not swedish. my boyfriend is and i have lived there, and i may look it but im definitely not swedish. sweden is a wonderful country, when the sun is shining. its full of magnificent old buildings, excellent fashion and is a real creative hub. my background is turkish on my fathers side and australian on mums side.
your photos seem to celebrate youth, freedom and the beauty of women is this something you aim to achieve? or simply for aesthetic appeal?
i like to capture a model's true beauty..a model's beauty and vulnerability can elevate an image above the realms of a simple fashion shot for me. this is something that isn't staged, it happens naturally.
we love the styling in your shoots, do you often style your own shoots?
sometimes i style my own shoots, its easier that way. but only if its me and the model... otherwise i like to work with talented stylists that push the boundaries such as kym ellery and leticia dare to name a few.
with all the influences of such an integrated community bondi style highlights just how fashion is a key part of the suburbs personality and with this there's a bunch of australians designers that are big time in NZ. what's currently going on in bondi, what're you wearing a lot of, what's rife on gould st?
whats currently going on in bondi? lots of of everything! its a melting pot of cultures, fashion, people, talent and creativity. and this can lead to a whole heap of truly insane fashion moments, good and bad, especially on a sunday! what im seeing right now is the same as always, and thats what i like about bondi, its consistency .. lots of denim, sandals, skin, great swimwear and great jewellery
how did it come about that you'd be the cover star of bondi style?
i have no idea how i got the cover of bondi style.. this still baffles me hahahahaha!
it seems the case that people in your line of work (fashion, photography, etc) are fairly well travelled. where is your favourite place and why?
my favourite city thus far is hands down Barcelona. it is such a vibrant city and there's so much fun to be had. im moving back next year with my boyfriend. aesthetically it inspires me more than anywhere else in the world. i love it. i love the people, the freedom, the culture, the lifestyle, the architecture, the history, the parties, the art, the museums, the local films. EVERYTHING!
best things about summer are...
SKIN! the smell of coconut oil in the air, long glorious days on the beach, summer nights, and bare feet
the art of living is...
love, happiness, beach, honesty, good food, lots of sleep, meditation, sunshine, my mama, friends, travel
*akila was incredibly nice and happy to answer the questions, thank-you very much to her. her blog has a heap more of her beautiful photography. below is a taste of her work, randomly selected xx