"The Original Hipster" photo series by Julia Chesky

Julia Chesky's tongue-in-cheek photo series entitled "The Original Hipster" is so full of on-point irony that it, perhaps unintentionally, encapsulates what "hipsterism" really is. Chesky, a Parsons graduate, used an actual homeless man named Chris who lived on Mercer Street in New York for decades. With art director Ali Lee, they styled him with designer shopping bags and fantastic jewelry pieces by Michael Calloway and Tracey Howarth.

Beautifully junky jewelry


Chesky's series is based on the children's book, The Pushcart War, but having only read a summary of the book, I don't really see it. What resonates with me is that the line between the concept of hipsterism and true homelessness is thinned into obscurity. The differences are merely a few key fashion pieces and the appearance of buying from the "right" designers. I only hope they left the bags with Chris after the shoot, because I bet people would automatically treat him with more regard. Next thing you know, he's djing in Soho for some It-girl's birthday. I mean, who hasn't mistaken a homeless man for a hipster before--and vice versa?