Darin Combs is a Fashion Industry Veteran who has over 20+ years in the business. In addition to having co-owned his own menswear store Armitage & McMillan, he has been a menswear buyer for Brooklyn based Smith+Butler and an Antiques Buyer and Sales Manager for The Brooklyn Circus. He is a street photographer who currently resides in Oklahoma City, OK.
What prompted you to start shooting?
Rin Tanaka and The Brooklyn Circus. Around 2006 I was a menswear buyer for a store in Brooklyn called Smith + Butler. On the side, I also bought and sold men’s Vintage and Antiques. S+B always had Rin Tanaka My Freedamn! Books in stock. Tanaka’s series highlighted different eras of Vintage clothing. I was always mesmerized by how beautiful he could make a leather jacket or a sweater look. Tanaka was able to tell a story through product photography.
Around the same time, I became an avid reader of The Brooklyn Circus blog. The BKc was mixing the Vintage clothing that Rin Tanaka highlighted and pairing it with the BKc brand. The Brooklyn Circus was also photographing it in a way that was truly unique. It also told a story without words. It made me want to pick up a camera and tell my story.
You’ve always had an eye for vintage, so I guess an eye is an eye which you are now using for photography. How did you develop that eye?
I’ve been a skateboarder for the last 30+ years. When you’re a skateboarder, you are always out on the street looking for new spots. Skating opens up your perspective: teaches you to see the world through a different lens. I am 45 and still looking for new spots, but I am also always on the hunt for interesting people, situations, and opportunities to find beauty in everyday life. I guess you can say I obsessively seek inspiration. My medium serves as my muse at times.
Your images are honest and real, what inspires the work?
I believe in general that life is just pretty fucking tough…but is filled with millions of amazing little moments. I love discovering and capturing those moments. That is photography to me.