Born in Paris to parents from Guadeloupe and living in Miami and St Maarten before settling in Los Angeles, twin brothers Jalan and Jibril Durimel draw on a geographically diverse upbringing to create a new wave of fashion photography.
It comes as no surprise to learn that Jalan and Jibril Durimel have a background in film-making. Whether it’s fashion, music or personal work, the twin brothers’ images are imbued with an understated theatricality and sensual colour palette that has become their much sought-after calling card.
The pair, who work under the moniker Durimel, have been collaborating closely since they were teenagers, later making the switch from film to photography so that they could experiment and put their ideas into action in a more immediate, intimate way. They were born in Paris to parents from Guadeloupe and lived in Miami and St Maarten before settling in Los Angeles, a geographically diverse upbringing they draw on in their photography.
In St Maarten, their father employed a succession of women to watch over his sons while he was at work – in the space of five years, six different women cared for them, each with unique backgrounds. They credit that experience with exposing them to a wide range of music, cooking, language and characters from the Caribbean.
“We’re not necessarily ‘cultured’ but we saw a bit more of what the world had to offer,” they say, adding: “more understanding of the intersections of life, is something we’d like to suggest – more exchange between nations – in our future work”.
Following a brief stint as fashion bloggers, the brothers started to build a more considered approach that has since become a signature style: delicate narratives told through the interplay of colours, shapes, clothes and street-cast subjects. They are more concerned with a “general interest in everything sartorial that helps communicate character” than with the fashion industry itself. They believe beauty is key to “communicating something foreign”, making colour, light and texture all-important.
At 23 years old, Jalan and Jibril are already making waves in the fashion industry. This year they were signed to the CLM agency and have already shot Kenzo’s Spring 2017 campaign. Now they are working on a project in Sierra Leone. A leading picture editor, who preferred to nominate anonymously, described them as aligned with a “gentle yet crucial revolution in the name of beauty”.
“Durimel is part of a new movement in fashion that is finally bringing a diverse point of view to the scene,” she adds, “children of the diaspora, artists who have experienced different cultures first-hand and are contributing with their unique vision to a field too long dominated by a conventional, standardised Western concept of beauty.”