A designer has imagined what history’s famous political leaders would look like if they became hipsters. In his portrait series “Hipstory”, Amit Shimoni, from Israel, outfitted such luminar- ies as Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, and Abraham Lincoln with the clothes and hairstyles of today’s youth.
What sparked your hipstermeets-history series?
I was trying to create new and altered portraits of iconic figures. My hope that this series will encourage us to reflect upon our leaders, our society, and ourselves. My intention lies not in choosing the better generation but rather in highlighting the differences, by changing the point of view and introducing a new perspective.
Is there a correlation between the leaders and the style you chose?
Yes, I put clues in each character to their history, ideology and background. I tried to show how each personality is becoming more distinct from a collective identity, and is concerned more about being unique. So you see, Mandela still has African-style clothes; Lenin is sort of an anarchist; Churchill is still the stronglooking person; Che wears the popular t-shirt with his portrait, and so on.
How long does it take you to transform a world leader into a hipster?
I would say an average of ten days. But it really depends. John F. Kennedy was an easy one, because he is more affiliated with today’s culture. But Margaret Thatcher, with her serious tones and approach, was much more difficult.
Are you a hipster yourself?
Wow, am I a hipster? Does any hipster call himself a hipster? [laughs]. The truth is that, whether I like it or not, I am a part of this generation. But I don’t think being hipster is a negative quality at all. Should we expect more images? History is so long and unique, so you definitely have to expect more ‘hipstory’ to come!