Although the legacy has been short lived, in 2013 two mates from London had nothing but a camera, and the balls to blag their way past some of the industries most elite, and into the world’s best music venues and parties. If you haven’t heard of Places + Faces, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me you had been living as part of the African Zulu tribe for the last five years. Their unique 3D photography aesthetic has caught the eye of everyone, from the elusive Frank Ocean, to the enigmatic King Krule - they have taken snaps and documented, through photography, videography and music, a whole new scene of talented individuals, who continue to shape the way we view the world today.
Unlike other brands in the streetwear scene, Places + Faces is well and truly a lifestyle; if you don’t like the musicians they document, then you won’t like the brand. However, there isn’t really an exclusivity to P+F that some may expect. Starting out as a Tumblr, switching between the NYC and London scene - two bustling breeding grounds for underground talent, you can access their website and content with ease; it is the parties and clothing line that instigates the enigma. You very quickly become in awe of the photographs and gifs on their Tumblr, and the potential stories behind them too. What is Daniel Ceasar doing in London? Why is Desiigner in Manchester?
The two Londoners, Ciesay and Soulz, are not bothered if you like what they do; if you are a fan then “that's cool but you don't do it for other people. We do it so we can look back in a couple of years and be like 'Oh shit! Look what we did! This is what we achieved. Fuck yeah!’ This passionate approach to the culture they accentuate has made them so admirable. Even if no one was noticing them, they simply wouldn’t care. They would continue to broadcast what they love - bringing a much needed authenticity to the game right now.
One of the first people to be photographed on the blog was A$AP Ferg, in incredibly odd circumstances, Ciesay met him in a lift where he was on his way to the studio; after this, many of the Mob jumped on the Bandwagon and soon enough the likes of A$AP Nast, Ian Connor and even Rocky were being shot by the two London lads. By the end of that year, 2014, they had pictures of Kanye West, Skepta and YG in their portfolio - the blog was increasing rapidly by the day, and the artists continued to fuck with them and their vision.
Business men use cards, and raves use fliers to get their name out there, but Soulz and Ciesay slapped their iconic 21st century logo onto a hoodie - and the hiphop world went mad for it. Wiz Khalifa in particular took a liking to the design and demanded to have one for himself, luckily they had one in their bag and the next day he was pictured wearing it. Could you get better publicity? At parties they would continually get asked if they were selling them, and now they are starting to release collections and collaborations with some of the worlds most iconic brands - Guess Jeans just announced a capsule with the duo, which is shaping up to be one of the best of the year. It is difficult to find a rapper without one of their iconic items of clothing, Slowthai rocks a full P+F outfit in his 'T N Biscuits' video, and the likes of Lil Yachty continue to wear their sweaters and fleeces.
Part of the intrigue behind Places + Faces is the mystery attached to their events and pop ups. If they turn up to your city, you have to make sure you are willing to sacrifice your plans for the day to grab yourself one of their famous pouches, or find out the location of a rave they are hosting. As they explained to Red Bull, you never know who will turn up. you could find Travis Scott in Paris, A$AP Bari in Tokyo or Goldlink in London; by uniting the world’s most outrageous Acts with the most thriving cities in the world, you inevitably instigate a movement people want to be apart of. They say some of the most intriguing places they’ve been to are Eastern Europe and Seoul, where their fan base is rapidly increasing. Below is a clip of their recent homecoming party in London.
Aesthetic' is a word that gets chucked around a lot nowadays, it can often appear pretentious if said in the wrong circumstances. Places + Faces though have a clear, unique style that media outlets across the globe are trying to suss out. Mura Masa's single 'What If I Go?', ft Bonzai, utilises the 3D image portraits that centres the website P+F created back in 2017. Octavian recently shot a live video for 'Lightning', the most popular tune off his debut 'Spaceman', which switches between VHS and HD film, in similar circumstances to the travelling montages the Londoners put onto their YouTube.
They also released a playlist a couple of years ago, which has cultivated a new scene of rappers coming out of London, who fail to slip in the obvious categories of hiphop, grime or drill. The likes of Kojey Radical, Jeshi and Crave Moore have especially benefitted from this exposure, and have become the faces of this new wave of sounds coming out of the UK. You can cop a listen of that below; it continues to reinforce the vision P+F have, and the willingness they possess to blur the gap between the underground and mainstream.
With their first zine out, and the promise of many more mags to come, it seems the most fitting time to write this article as the inspiring duo celebrate their 5 year anniversary of the blog. The sky is the limit for Ciesay and Soulz; they are one of the strongest cases of the DIY mindset getting you anywhere you want, all you need is a camera and an idea.