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Missoni Moments Stories

Dimitri Coste

The French photographer talks about biking, picking his models and his love of American culture

When did you first realize you wanted to be a professional photographer?

I wonder if I ever wanted to be a professional photographer. Probably not, it came naturally: I wanted to be a movie stuntman then a writer. I had never planned on becoming a photographer.

What was the first picture you took, and what did you use?

The first photo I took I think was a polaroid of my younger sister Chloé when she’d just been born, one day old. My first real photo was probably a portrait of my long time friend PH Camy, using a Nikon FM2 with a 50mm lens, when I was a teenager.

What or who is your favourite subject?

Genuine people I feel a connection with, whether it’s for a portrait or a fashion story. More generally, people who have lived and are passionate about something are a plus. Then anything related to the Americana culture and subculture.

How do you pick your models? What do you look for?

It all depends on the nature of the photoshoot. If it’s for a campaign it’s of course way different than for one of my side projects. First I look for someone alive, with an aura, charisma, character and personality, then it gets very inspiring and magic happens.

Tell us a little about your love of biking. It comes up a lot in your work.

Yes, it does. I grew up watching Motocross, BMX and Skateboard magazines and was very influenced by those sports and lifestyles. Motorcycles are rad, and the best tool for feeling free and alive, it can be gnarly or smooth, but one thing that’s sure is that you’re out in the elements, and you meet the coolest people on two wheels. People say  that four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul, I need my soul to feel moved and alive.

You seem to be fascinated with American biker culture, in particular. What draws you to it?

American culture in general I would say, I’m fascinated by genuine authentic passionate people and if they re involved in car or motorcycle culture from UK or US it’s definitely a big bonus. So not only American culture, as I’m very much into what happened in the UK in the motorcycle scene before the 70’s, with a special thing for pre-war race bikes.

Is there anyone or anyplace or anything you’d like to shoot but haven’t yet got around to it?

Yes there is, still so many blank pages to write.

What is your relationship with Missoni and how do you feel wearing it?

I first feel comfortable, then elegant. I’m not afraid of vivid colors and I love wool. My Mum is a wool enthusiast and an excellent knitter, and up to the age of ten I only wore what she would knit for me. I got then that special relationship with wool, that’s pretty natural: I feel like home in a Missoni piece.