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July 23 2014

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Unseen Photos From One Of Street Style’s Predecessors

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Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger is having a bit of a moment of late. Last year, Rizzoli published Rebel Youth, his snaps of disaffected Zurich teens, accompanied by an exhibition at New York’s Swiss Institute, which drew fans like Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, who hosted a party for the show. It’s not hard to guess why. Weinberger’s shots are reminiscent of street-style photography, both in their verité style and their attention to the fashionable details. For a new book, the first to focus on Weinberger’s early work, the Swiss Institute zeroed in on one fashionable detail in particular: his fascination with blue jeans.

Jeans interposes shots of Weinberger’s lovers with unidentified young men photographed in the street, “all,” Swiss Institute director Gianni Jetzer told Dazed Digital, “united by the vestimentary extravaganza of jeans.” (There’s a mouthful.) Those vestments were more than just denim. In postwar Switzerland, jeans came to stand for the new, the radical, and above all, the American: the unofficial outfit of rebel youth. Before they were For All Mankind, denim was for workingmen and bad boys only. Here’s a reminder.

Jeans, $45, is available at Swissinstitute.net.

Photo: Karlheinz Weinberger / Jeans

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Dept. of Culture