#FollowMe photographer and jeweller team up in Hong Kong show
When David Joseph saw the Instagram shots, he knew he had found his creative partner.
Joseph, founder of New York-based jewellery brand Bochic was captivated by the pictures Murad Osmann had taken of his girlfriend Nataly Zakharova in various exotic locations, holding Osmann's hand and wearing, for the most part, gorgeous dresses. Osmann's #FollowMe Instagram campaign was launched almost two years ago and now has more than two million followers.
For Joseph, the visually rich images that transport the viewer “somewhere else for a moment in time” were perfect for his brand.
“His strong visuals are simple but brilliant – one image captures a lot. The colours and the story behind the photos have a very cinematic feel. … We felt this would be a good collaboration.
“A lot of our inspiration comes from our muse – the Bohemian chic woman [Bochic is an abbreviation of bohemian chic]. She is the type of woman who travels to exotic locations and our pieces are the kind of jewellery she might find in these places,” says Joseph.
Joseph and Osmann are in Hong Kong to launch “Le Tour de Bochic”, a year-long collaboration that is co-sponsored by local jeweller Plukka. It kicks off with an exhibition at the Upper House in Admiralty that runs through April.
Sitting in the hotel’s Sky Lounge the pair talk about the exhibition which shows Zakharova wearing Bochic’s funky jewellery.
“Some people think the images are Photoshopped, that we are sitting at home on the couch and using a green screen,” Osmann says with a laugh.
Osmann says the concept was born in Barcelona but not under the best of circumstances. “Nataly and I were travelling together for the first time… you really get to know a person when travelling with them! Nataly was getting annoyed with me, saying I was constantly taking photos, and she pulled away from me and it was then that I took a photo.”
“It started out as a funny thing to do on a trip – to recreate that pose – and it became popular with our friends. It actually took about 1½ years before it got global exposure... I was really surprised by the response.
Osmann says he knew the #FollowMe campaign was taking off when the Daily Mail contacted him. “Our story and images stayed on the Daily Mail website for a week, which rarely happens on a news website. It even had more hits and was more popular than the story about Pope Benedict’s resignation – the first pope to have resigned in 600 years … It was a bit ridiculous,” he says.
Now the couple get to travel the world for Bochic – but only part-time. “We both have day jobs – I have a film production company in Moscow and Nataly is a journalist – but we travel the world at the weekend.” However, Osmann says having a Russian passport doesn’t help: “It’s not that easy to travel on one.”
The couple are also busy planning their June wedding. And yes, Zakharova will be wearing a Bochic ring.
“Of course it will be Bochic! I don’t think David will let her wear anything else!”
Le Tour de Bochic by Murad Osmann and Bochic, The Upper House, Pacific Place, Admiralty, until April 30. Inquiries: 2539 5088