Photographer Mert Alas’ New Venture | Podcasts

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Renowned fashion photographer Mert Alas — one half of the renowned duo Mert and Marcus — has spent the last four years immersed in the world of gin. While pandemic pivots to new creative ventures have become commonplace, Alas was looking for a new creative outlet long before the current crisis. In crafting his new aromatic gin — named Seventy One after the number of nights it takes to rest the spirit in oak casks — he found many parallels with fashion’s creative challenges. Just like in fashion, gin making has suffered from a focus on speed over quality. True craft requires patience and time, Alas says.

On this week’s BoF Podcast, Alas speaks with Tim Blanks about finding new creative avenues and resisting the pressure to produce more and more and more stuff.

  • Alas approached his new gin like

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A Noted Fashion Photographer Spent Four Years Creating This Seriously Stylish New Gin

There’s no shortage of boldface names who’ve released their own line of spirits. But the newest member of the pack may be its most stylish yet.

Acclaimed fashion photographer Mert Alas just launched a beguiling bottle called Seventy One Gin. Alas, known for his work with his creative partner Marcus Piggot, has long been a fan of gin, and has spent the last four years improving upon his favorite tipple. It’s made more like perfume than traditional spirits, and takes its name from how long it’s aged in oak casks. All told, the gin spends 71 nights in a succession of Spanish virgin oak casks, used to bestow a smoky depth; sherry casks made from American oak that provide a hint of sweetness; and French oak cognac casks that give it a little heat. This process is also what gives the gin its beguiling amber color.

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Fashion photographer Richard Avedon’s life was far from glamorous

It was easy to envy — even hate — Richard Avedon.

The legendary photographer, who died in 2004, traveled around the world shooting the most fabulous fashions, the most magnificent models, the most scintillating stars. He hobnobbed with Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Hutton. His artistic peers — shutterbugs like Robert Frank and Lee Friedlander — as well as critics scoffed or seethed at his lavishness, his four-story townhouse, fancy museum shows and commercial ad work. It didn’t help that he could be self-aggrandizing, with his expensive, overstuffed coffee table books and blown-up, larger-than-life prints.

Model Dovima poses in front of “Dovima with Elephants” — one of Avedon’s most famous fashion photos.
Model Dovima poses in front of “Dovima with Elephants” — one of Avedon’s most famous fashion photos.Brownie Harris/Corbis via Getty Images

Yet, underneath all that glitter and gloss, Avedon’s personal life was much messier, and more human.

“He suffered,” said Philip Gefter, who has written the new biography of Avedon, “What

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