Nowadays, I’m endlessly fascinated by what people wear and why they chose to wear it. Fashion, to me, is a rich category under the umbrella of self-image and presentation. Since coming to a major urban area for university, I’ve witnessed a wide-ranging variety of fashion styles, more than ever before. Within this variety, luxury brands, particularly footwear, have become a major point of curiosity. A recent trend within these brands involves creating a “distressed” or scuffed look on trainer-like shoes, making them appear as though they’ve been found at a secondhand store, while still being sold for multiple hundreds of dollars. For me, this “artificial wear” raises a few questions, among them: How is the distressed effect created? Why do the shoes still come with cleaning instructions? Why would one pay such high amounts of money to look like they’ve thrifted a pair of old shoes? Signs point to extreme aesthetic fixation and/or brand loyalty, but there seems to be so much more under the surface. luxurious is an attempt to make sense of what goes into this intersection of consumerism, aesthetics, and self-image. In a simple but loaded gesture, old and worn-out shoes are photographed in a product setting similar to their luxury brand counterparts, with accompanying faux descriptions, as a part of a fictional brand. Why those and not these?
Salvador “Trey” Marez is a photographer and creative currently based in Seattle, Washington. As a senior majoring in both Communication and Photo/Media, Trey’s artwork is interested in making sense of and responding to the oddities and supposed normalities of a fluctuating socio-technical world. Oftentimes, this entails a myriad of different topics such as aesthetics, social conventions, and the repurposing of objects and media, all of which Trey has no issue in developing obsessions over. He is undeniably a child of a sprawling internet culture, a fact brought upon by his modest upbringing. Growing up in a cozy and relatively isolated home in the suburb of Bonney Lake, Washington, Trey spent much of his adolescence diving into endless media rabbit holes and subcultures through the increasing accessibility of the internet. This frequent stimulation cultivated his curiosity and obsessions with the larger world, which was beyond his reach at the time. With one older sister and two separated parents, his family is quite spread out, a fact that has uniquely shaped the way he has forged (and still is forging) his path in life. He is endlessly thankful for their love and support.