Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Visionary

Daniel Peddle was drawn to the grit of New York City in 1992, from his hometown in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as a grad student at N.Y.U. film school. Peddle's perspective on beauty, art and culture, and his keen eye, led him to the world of street casting. Peddle fell into casting as a student whilst sourcing people off the street for a film school project. Recognising his potential, Calvin Wilson a close friend who was working at Elite Models suggested that Peddle pursue casting in the fashion industry as a viable career. Peddle initially began scouring the streets of New York for Next Model Management, handing in a wad of polaroids each Friday in return for $300 to subsidise his student lifestyle. Over the ensuing years, Peddle built up a solid client base through a network of friends, stylists and photographers, culminating in the formation of his own agency, Daniel Peddle Casting, with his partner Drew Dasent.  

True Visionary - Daniel Peddle
Photographer - Emma Van Outray
Source - models.com

Peddle's inimitable take on beauty has since translated to the runways of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Givenchy Men, Ports 1961, Richard Chai, Anteprima, Chado Ralph Rucci, United Bamboo, Suno, and Zero + Maria Cornejo. Peddle constantly looks to the street for inspiration, explaining to vogue.com "Scouting on the street is my favourite thing to do. I grew up in a rural area in  North Carolina, so the streams of people here, the diversity of Manhattan, is a dream for me." Peddle elaborates further to stylelikeu.com, "I love it, it's like you know to me in a way, it kind of reminds me of going and picking up stones in the creek and looking for a crayfish. You know like going out on the streets of New York there are like streams of people and you know turning over stones and seeing what you can find, and trying to find something amazing and giving them access to the fashion world through casting and watching them develop. It's really an amazing experience."

Peddle's artistic eye resonates in his approach to casting with the renegade stipulating in the vogue.com interview, "For us, it's not just about being beautiful. In fact, it's just the opposite. We like finding the quirky ones! We love diversity, and an element of tomboyishness - strong, tough girls with a bit of an androgynous edge to them." Speaking with models.com, Peddle sheds light on his unique casting aesthetic "In terms of casting, I try to maintain my artist's eye and look for people who are interesting to look at in a variety of mediums. Whether it's film, or runway or print jobs the same type of person is intriguing. If you look strictly through a fashion eye you tend to fall prey to whatever the look of the moment is." 

Daniel Peddle, Phillip Lim & Unknown model
Photographer - Evan Sung
Source - vogue.com

Peddle's understanding of modelling's trickle-through effect to the wider communities and the accountability he displays in mirroring various social constructs in his casting approach, make him a true visionary. Peddle is emphatic when it comes to issues such as diversity in modelling stating resolutely to vogue.com "For me, it is a vehicle to communicate ideas around the world. No nationality or race has a monopoly on being beautiful, and the brands that we work with feel the same way." Speaking with models.com, Peddle touches on a casting trend that he believes has particular significance "Girls and boys that have faces that you can't just put in a certain place or race or geography. I think it's very helpful to see those types of faces in our conflicted world because you can see that we're still evolving as humans and they are the results of people willing to go beyond the socially constructed notions around race. I think that's really important and we're going to see even more of those as the population changes."

Peddle's artistic vision is a common thread in the many hats he wears as casting director, artist and film maker. Peddle is an accomplished painter whose works have been exhibited at the NP Contemporary Art Centre and the Envoy Gallery in New York. Peddle recently created a series of water colour portraits entitled "Backstage", depicting moments of solace amidst the frenzied backstage chaos. Peddle has also returned to his love of film, producing two feature length documentaries; the Aggressives and Trail Angels, which portray respectively the subcultures of inner-city African American and Latina lesbians, and the unsung heroes who tend to hikers during the six month journey down the Appalachian trail. In all of his pursuits, Peddle has remained true to his artistic vision and spirit, leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of beauty beyond the pale.

Sui He Preening
Artist - Daniel Peddle
Source - danielpeddleart.com

Rose & Tao Mirror's Edge
Artist - Daniel Peddle
Source - danielpeddleart.com

Keith Last Look/Simon Glossed
Artist - Daniel Peddle
Source - danielpeddleart.com

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