It must have been 1984 or 1985 I was living in Florence at the time and going to University. I was studying Architecture knowning even too well that wasn’t my call. I knew I wanted to work in fashion but I totally lacked the skills to be a designer. I was an avid reader of independent magazines and on the pages of now defunct style bible The Face, I found an amazing fashion story of a boy in boxer shorts and oversize trench coats. It looked damn good and totally different from everything I’ve seen before. The clothes were almost “normal” but the way they were assembled, the way they were “styled” was fantastic. The stylist’s name was Ray Petri and I started to follow his work. The mix of classic, sporty, tribal was strong and unseen before, proportions were exagerated, models were more interesting than plain beautiful. It was fresh, new and strong. Incredibly inspiring. He became well known pretty fast in my small but international, underground and trendy world. And even more famous became “Buffalo” the spontaneous collective of photographers, models and artists that gravitated around him. And it was before the Internet, before social media, in a time when international independent magazine were hard to find, and not so many. But the impact that the Buffalo aestethic made was so powerful that created a wave that rocked the fashion world. This way of juxtaposing high and low, runway looks and streetstyle (and it was the actual style of people in the streets, not the endorsed looks of nowaday so called “influencers”) wasn’t only modern, it was the very definition of modern. The casting was special too, models of diverse ethic groups that had in common a certain attitude, a toughness: the “Buffalo Stance” that became world famous with Neneh Cherry’s Album (she was a part of the posse too).It was because of all this that I decided that I wanted to be a stylist. At the time “styling” wasn’t really a thing, or at least it wasn’t the mainstream and coveted job that is now. People would ask me (someone still does) if I photograph or if I design the clothes…but that’s another story.
Images from Buffalo, Mitzi Lorenz, Westzone Publishing, 2000