Nicole Small | One on One

Photographer Spotlight: Coreen Simpson

Coreen Simpson


Coreen Simpson is best known for her striking, fashionable portraits of African-American New York City nightlife and B-boys/B-girls during the 1980s. “When I was growing up in Brooklyn I remember seeing a black man on Pacific street wearing an orange suit and everybody stopped,” she recalled in an interview with The Fader. “I never forgot that. He looked like a god. This was in the ’50s. That was a transcendent moment for me. He seemed to be moving in slow motion and it just blew my mind. Clothes and jewelry have always been very important to me in observance of how people present themselves because that’s empowerment. Everything I do is about self-presentation and empowerment.”

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