Q + A with Sadia Rafique

Sadia Rafique (Creative Director), Nickque (Art Director) and Kay (Photographer) walking the mean streets of Sheffield during the Forge Denim photoshoot.

Sadia Rafique (Creative Director), Nickque (Art Director) and Kay (Photographer) walking the mean streets of Sheffield during the Forge Denim photoshoot.


Hi Sadia - for people who don't know you, can you give a quick rundown on what you do and who you've worked with?

"I trained as a Graphic Designer at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, and after I graduated I developed a career as an art director, street photographer and illustrator. These days, I've increasingly specialised as a creative director art directing fashion shoots and fashion films, and working in the areas of branding, apparel graphic design, Lookbook design and illustration.

I have worked with a range of brands including Endrime, DKNY Jeans and oki-ni and I've previously collaborated with Puma and Lot78 on a limited edition run of sneakers. When not doing all this, I still try to carve out some time for myself as an artist exploring type and illustration and the relationship between art and clothing."


Why were you interested in doing a Lookbook for Forge Denim?

"I met Alex on Mohsin Sajid's 'Denim Masterclass' in London (@endrime). Apart from Alex being a lovely person, I was really interested in the way Forge came about, being a Sheffield based brand, using Sheffield forged steel trims, making the clothes in England - there was a nice story there that needed to be told.

Being a young brand, I wanted to create a visual response to what I had learned from Richard and Alex, and simply my first experience of visiting Sheffield and what I felt. I wanted to capture the great sense of community, friendship, warmth and a great product set in the backdrop of beautiful surroundings. I had to get involved, whether they wanted me to or not! haha.."


What were the ideas / concept behind the photoshoot?

"Sheffield was the backdrop to it all and where we began. With it's mood, it's lifestyle, details, denim culture, vintage culture, the textures of Sheffield, the colours, the iron works, the steel, brick work, architecture, the industrial nature of Sheffield, innately built into it's lineage, and subconsciousness. Nickque did a wonderful job on styling and Art Directing this shoot, and Kay did a brilliant job on capturing the energy of the city."


How did you think it went?

"I think it went really well, it didn't rain! We were really lucky with the weather that day. We ran at a fast pace but we got great photos and the models were unique and had their own identity which showed through and told different stories through the Forge Denim brand."

You can see more of Sadia's work at @sadiarafique

David Edwards