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Interview: Nadia Lee Cohen

Two plus size models at the beach. One sitting on a lounge chair, holding a cigarette, with a salon hair dryer above their head. The other stands barbecuing hot dogs.
Two plus size models at the beach. One sitting on a lounge chair, holding a cigarette, with a salon hair dryer above their head. The other stands barbecuing hot dogs.
Nadia Lee Cohen, MA Fashion Photography graduate Nadia Lee Cohen has created a surreal and provocative photographic series focusing on the female form for her ongoing project ‘100 Naked Women’
, London College of Fashion, UAL
Written by
Josh De Souza Crook
Published date
20 August 2018

Recently graduated from the London College of Fashion, MA Fashion photography student Nadia Lee Cohen has already received prestigious accolades, such as the Taylor Wessing prize at the National Portrait Gallery, for her bold, retro-inspired work. Based in London and LA, Nadia’s ongoing project ‘100 Naked Women’ has garnered plenty of attention from industry as she creates a series of  provocative, highly-stylised and surreal scenes focusing on the female form. LCF News caught up with her to find out more about it and what she plans to do next.

woman smokin and man cooking sausages on a bbq

Nadia has created a surreal and provocative photographic series focusing on the female form in her ongoing project ‘100 Naked Women’.

What course did you study?

MA Fashion photography having studied BA Fashion Photography as well.

Why did you choose that course?

Honestly, I’d just finished the BA and wasn’t ready to go out into the real world of work and be an adult. I wanted to keep my creative freedom for as long as possible, I loved my course director Paul Bevan as he completely understood me and my work and really helped me develop in the last year.

Why did you choose London College of Fashion, we hear fashion never inspired you into photography?

I chose London College of Fashion years before I decided I wanted to be a photographer. It was just a cool place I’d heard of when I was at college so I thought I’d try it out. I initially studied fashion portfolio and had no clue what field I wanted to get into. It was after BA that I discovered I could take a photo.

Who are your idols?

My parents, Divine, Stanley Kubrick, Tarantino.

You seem to spend a lot of time between London, Brighton and LA. Do different cities inspire you?

They do, I get bored if I’m static for too long. I think I want to live in Paris for a while next year, something about it makes me feel very at home.

Your work resembles retro Britain, but with Suburban utopia of empowered women. What made you develop this style?

It was never a conscious decision, its just my inspirations manifesting into images.

You’ve shoot short films with Amber Rose and Vice in the past. How does working on film differ from photography, will you be curating more films in the future?

I usually plan each image down to the most meticulous detail, so when planning a film it’s obviously hundreds of images to think about so it really takes it out of me. I definitely will be making more films in the future, but there is still a beauty in a still image that I will always be drawn to.

We hear you’ve just been signed to the same agency as Martin Parr, how does that industry acknowledgement make you feel?

Very proud. I used to look at Martin’s work in the LCF library and I think I wrote about him in one of my sketchbooks, so to think my work is sitting alongside his at my agency is unreal.

What’s next for your future career?

I’m working on my book, a couple more little films and maybe if I move to Paris I’ll learn to speak French.