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KIRA LILLIE

… is not only an amazing successful photographer, she is also a director, jewelry designer, dance performer and -creator.
We met her in Berlin where she moved to recently and had a chat about her upcoming projects, events and inspirations.

KIRA LILLIE

For 2013 Kira Lillie has a whole new concept of how things should be viewed, bought and sold. She creates everything around her chosen theme this year, which is LOVE. We met her to catch up on how she chose this theme, her personal favorite places and her latest projects.

 

You are originally from California, what was the reason to move to Europe, Paris?
I was born in Boulder, Colorado and when I was around three my family moved to Santa Cruz, California. At the age of 16 I decided that high school wasn't really my cup of tea. I realized I would either drop out or graduate a year early. The councilor told my parents to try to convince me not to skip my junior year to this my parents simply replied, "you convince her". I graduated at the top of my class a year early and decide to take off to explore Europe, with a three month unlimited Euro-rail pass and the company of my big bro. Europe was liberation. Europe was finding KIRA. Europe was home. I returned to California, and a month later I was on a one way flight to Florence, Italy where my European life would begin. I spent one year in Florence, photographing, playing, dancing, LIVING!! I starting doing editorials at the age of 19 - the same age as the models many times. After one year I was done with Florence and my desire to work in Fashion took me to Milan. I didn't know anyone and still hardly spoke Italian. Milan was a love hate relationship. It gave me a lot and it took a lot. After six years I had had enough and moved to PARIS!! My dream city. I was the most productive I have ever been, so far, in Paris. With hardly any money and not so much work, I launched Vk Lillie, my jewelry brand and at the same time started to venture into directing short fashion films. All I did was work. It was an amazing moment.

 

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You recently moved from Paris to Berlin, why?
Actually I was living in NY for the last year. Crazy city that one. I had never, the whole time I have lived in Europe (12 years in total) felt a pull to Berlin. Then all of a sudden lying in bed one night in NY I could feel Berlin calling me. It was time. I cant really explain it more then that. It is the same reason why I moved to all the cities I have lived in. The more I move the more inspired and productive I am. I love meeting people, seeing new worlds, and with each new city after initial moments of loneliness I find a new Kira. I grow. I change. Its so amazing. The beginning is always scary and hard then the city opens up to me, or me to it, and it's MAGICAL!! It's one of the best feeling I have ever felt in my life. Berlin has an amazing energy right now in my opinion. I feel great opportunity and space to create. People are very humane, cultured, and overall kind. Of course there are alway the exceptions, but overall this is what I've been experiencing. Berlin feels like a city that isn't focused only on money, fame, superficial things. It's incredibly refreshing and exactly what I was looking for.
 
What is the main difference between these two cities?
Paris is like a little village kept perfectly for decades. It is the past. Something so beautiful to look at that you just dream and forget all of its hardness. A city of indulgence,  luxury, elegance, beauty and extreme taste. Berlin, a bit hap hazard - street style - a modern city - a new city. Its a baby here in Europe, having to prove itself clean of such a hard past. The City is OPEN and non-judgmental. They are opposite but share a similar love for culture and art. I love both, yet Berlin has my heart for the moment. I start to really feel the energies of cities and Berlin is Blossoming, blooming, ALIVE, and full of love.

 

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Your theme for 2013 for all your projects is LOVE, how did you come up with this subject? What is the idea behind it?
Love is a deep theme I have been working on for a while now--I guess most of us do in our own ways. I have come to a pivotal point in my life where all I want to do is in some way transmit through my work ideas with intension to GIVE back. To try better our experience on this planet. If we all understand that, through loving ourself and thus the people around us we can change the world and be so much happier. Also, It is the year 2013 - for me the number 3 represents LOVE. 2+0+1= 3 so it's the year of 33. I also turned 30 this year so there are A LOT of 3's going on. So this year I start with theme LOVE, which I think is just the start, the base. It will grow from here.
 
How will you involve the subject in all your pictures, design, and performance?
Everything is what you are, if you focus on one subject everything you do will become also that. I am studying the concept of LOVE so much and focusing on it every single day. Its a great project and it shows me how easy it is to love, EVERYTHING. I love the idea of falling in love with something everyday. Find something that you just LOVE - and fall for it. Could really be anything. In my photography I try now to put intention into every project. Have an idea behind it. Weather the viewer fully understands it, is not what is most important. What is important is the intension, the energy that was put into it. Perhaps it is subliminal, something that moves you and you're not sure why. I love that.

 

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On which project are you working at the moment?
I'm working on many projects at the moment. Some are too young to speak of, and others I can share!
 
VENICE, Biannale is a big project for me. Im going to be working with a friend who is doing a pop up restaurant. My goal is to bring LOVE to each dinner. Bring lightness and beauty. Its the first time I'm venturing into more performance, which in some ways I think is where I may truly belong. At the same time I have no real idea of what Im doing. I can just kind of imagine. Its exciting. Im working hard on that at the moment.
 
I'm also working on some mood boards and concepts for up and coming photo shoots/editorial - videos. This I have to keep quite vague Im afraid.
 
As for Vk Lillie, Im working with Premium here in Berlin for Berlin fashion week - both in their store and the show. We are working on some great ideas for installation and concepts behind the idea of the shopping experience. I'm working closely with a dear friend, Ugo Lo Rocco, who works in visual merchandising and is in-charge of the store's re-image. I love the idea of creating a store then when you walk out you feel different, better more relaxed or positive. I truly believe that it is the moment we need to start consciously start giving back - to the consumer - to the people.  

 

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Be excited about the second Part of the interview, which follows tomorrow, when Kira talks about inspiration, upcoming events and her dreams and plans for the future.

28 / 05 / 2013 // by Gesine Bregler

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