Purple Magazine
— Purple 76 Index issue 29

Mcdean craig

from car repair to fashion engineering

photography by CRAIG MCDEAN
interview by JOSHUA GLASS
style VANESSA REID

FREJA BEHA ERICHSEN, model

JOSHUA GLASS — Your background is actually in mechanics. Your first book, I Love Fast Cars, was about muscle cars. Before you even got into photography, you were an auto repairman. Where does this interest in vehicles come from?

CRAIG MCDEAN — I was racing motorbikes from an early age, and naturally you had to constantly repair and rebuild them. My father worked for Rolls-Royce, so he was always a mentor and tutor to me. My lifelong love for cars and engines has evolved into an obsession with the beauty of their design. I’m currently less into muscle cars and more into vintage Italian vehicles.

JOSHUA GLASS — What is your favorite car?

CRAIG MCDEAN — When I first moved to America, it was the Camaro Z28, it just seemed like the ultimate American car. But now I would say my favorite car is the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso designed by Pininfarina. It was manufactured for only eight months, so it’s super rare and was driven by the likes of Steve McQueen.

JOSHUA GLASS — As a young man, you divided your time between rock-and-roll concerts and ballroom dancing. Can you speak about those times?

CRAIG MCDEAN — I lived in Manchester during a very exciting music scene. I grew up ballroom dancing competitively with my sister by day and going to concerts by the Stone Roses, the Smiths, Happy Mondays, and New Order by night. It was the beginning of my interest in fashion as I began to photograph my friends in their nightlife attire.

JOSHUA GLASS — You’re photographed so many people and places through the years and even created a book on Kate Moss, Guinevere van Seenus, and Amber Valletta. Outside of these famous models, what’s your inspiration? 

CRAIG MCDEAN — Comtemporary artists.

JOSHUA GLASS — What’s been your biggest challenge so far? 

CRAIG MCDEAN — Being a father is definitely the biggest challenge of my life. I am reminded every day of the beauty of the journey.

JOSHUA GLASS — In recent years, you’ve expanded your eye from photos and art films to music videos, working with the likes of Benjamin Clementine and Rihanna. 

CRAIG MCDEAN — It’s a natural progression to move into the moving image from photography, and I look forward to the opportunity to create more films.

JOSHUA GLASS — Who is the person you still want to photograph? 

CRAIG MCDEAN — The only person I wish I could have had the chance to photograph is Muhammad Ali.

JOSHUA GLASS — What is something we might be surprised to learn about your creative process?

CRAIG MCDEAN — The time it takes to conceptualize an idea probably takes longer than what most people realize.

END

 

Jimmy Paul, hair Mark Carrasquillo, make-up — Megumi Yamamoto, manicure Freja Beha Erichsen, model

[Table of contents]

Purple 76 Index issue 29

Table of contents

Purple Index 76

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