Barneys New York has created a program to support young photography talent through the Barneys New York Foundation. A competition called the Perfect Shot was unveiled in April, in which the department store worked with the country’s top photography schools, including Parsons and SVA. Students submitted a portfolio judged by Matthew Mazzucca, Barneys senior vice president and creative director, and Christopher Martinez, vice president and digital creative director, for a chance at a $5,000 award toward tuition and the opportunity to shoot a digital look book for Barneys. Rufus Barkley, a student at SVA, was the competition’s first winner. His digital look book launches today, and he will be featured in an editorial profile story in the spring 2018 issue of Barneys’ Window Book in print, as well as a behind the scenes feature on thewindow.barneys.com.
“It’s hard to pass up the opportunity to work with such an important name in fashion like Barneys New York, and to get their eyes on my work,” Barkley said. “I presented a collection of my work that was definitely nontraditional, and was not the most fashion focused. Luckily, the Barneys team got it and it worked out for me. If I were more conservative with my portfolio, I’m not sure I would have won.”
“Barneys New York has a long history of working with new emerging talent, and the Perfect Shot competition gives us a new way to support young photographers,” Mazzucca said. “We selected Rufus as the winner of our inaugural competition because of his versatility, creativity and his ability to marry the commercial and the creative. We hope that other students will see this program, and we can continue to partner with them in future competitions to bring young perspectives to our channels.”