We LOVE to travel, but if we never stepped foot outside the front door again it would be ok because we would be able to live vicariously through photographer Gray Malin amazing photographs of the most beautiful places in the world! Not only are his pictures stunning and inspiring, but his creative mind has taken him one step further in collaborating with brands such as Orlebar Brown, Sperry and most recently Basta Surf to have his images turned into bathing suits and shoes! And if all the traveling and collaborating didn’t keep him busy enough he just came out with The Sprinkle Carry on Cocktail Kit to make drinking at 30,000 feet that much more chic and colorful...we give this two thumbs up!
VacationStyle: Can you take us through your creative process in creating a series?
Gray Malin: Before I create a new photographic series I always ask myself, “would I hang this image in my home?” Once that is determined each series concept takes on a life of its own which can be quite unpredictable. For me, there really isn’t a “norm” for the creation process or the amount of time it takes for production, edits and eventually release-- but it’s fair to say that nothing happens overnight
VS: Where was your favorite place to shoot?
GM: I loved shooting in Antarctica. It is the type of place that really moves you and changes your perspective about the landscape of the world. I wish it was more accessible for people to visit and appreciate.
VS: What are some of your favorite places to visit while traveling?
GM: Here are some of my favorite things to do or places to go in some of my favorite places:
Dallas - Mi Cocina
Los Angeles - Shutters Hotel bar at sunset
Amalfi Coast - Charter a boat and cruise over to Capri with an Aperol Spritz in hand.
Paris - Picnic at Versailles
Rio de Janeiro - Taking the tram up to Sugar Loaf Mountain
Cape Town - visiting the wine country of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
VS: What is your favorite series? If you could only pick one photograph that you shot to hang on your wall- which would it be?
GM: I really cannot pick a favorite. There are many images I am partial to for various reasons but they all mean a great deal to me - otherwise I wouldn’t sell them. I actually just hung ‘Room Service’ in the largest size in my bedroom-- I love waking up and feeling like I am on vacation at the Parker Palm Springs.
VS: What destinations do you have on your bucket list?
GM: I’d like to visit Norway when the Northern Lights are visible. I also would love to go to Alaska.
VS: Which photographers/artists have inspired you most?
GM: Photographer Aline Smithson inspired me to explore humor in fine art which I have always been partial to. Artist Gaston Ugalde mentored me in Bolivia where I shot my series Far Far Away and was incredible to work with and learn from.
VS: What inspires you most while traveling?
GM: Keeping my eyes open- the more I see and appreciate during my travels, the greater my mind expands with knowledge and understanding.
VS: If you could go vacation with one person in history - who would it be?
GM: I would love to spend a day working and hanging out with the late photographer, Slim Aarons. I greatly admire his timeless aesthetic. He certainly paved the way for photographers like myself who want to capture imagery that transports people to another place or time period.
VS: If you couldn’t shoot travel photography, what would be your next passion?
GM: Interior design for sure.
VS: What is it about 1950s/1960s glamour that inspires you?
GM: There is something about this moment in time that feels so glamourous. It was all about the jet-set life. Sipping champagne and bronzing under the Mediterranean sun. My collections La Dolce Vita and Poolside are especially inspired by this time period.
VS: What are your favorite hotels & why?
GM: Since living in Los Angeles, I’ve always enjoyed the quick escape to the desert, and the Parker Palm Springs has been my longtime favorite hotel in Palm Springs. The grounds are beautiful and just give ample breath to one’s imagination. In fact, the hotel was my muse for the Gray Malin at the Parker collection.
VS: What are your next destinations to shoot?
GM: Next year I will be heading back to Africa but that’s all I can share at this time!
VS: Any insider tips you can share from a recent trip?
GM: I spent 3 weeks traveling through Italy in June this year, so it’s still very top of mind:
Tuscany - Hotel Baldini
Capri - La Fontelina Beach Club is a must. The beauty of this beach club is the incredibly delicious food, ritzy clientele and the views over the famous Faraglioni rocks.
Puglia - The interesting part about the ‘heel’ of Italy is that the architecture is a bit more reminiscent of Greece with more white and blue accents. The Borgo Egnazia resort is life-changing. Grab a ‘Spritz’ and walk the beautiful grounds after you’ve checked in.
VS: In the past few years you’ve done some amazing collaborations. Can you tell us a little bit about them?
GM: Sperry and Gray Malin are both brands who celebrate a mutual love for the sea and stand for classic style and adventure, so it really made for a perfect collaboration. The collaboration with Orlebar Brown was an amazing partnership of two Resort seasons in a row, 2013 and 2014, of men's swim trunks utilizing images from the Miami Art Deco series. I’m also very excited to launch our new women's swimwear collection with Basta Surf. Expect to see those beautifully constructed suits, inspired by two prints from my A La Plage series, this November.
While On Vacation...
Warm weather or Cold weather? Warm
Aspen or St. Moritz? Both
Detox or Retox? Retox
Overpack or Underpack? Underpack
Favorite Swimwear brand? Orlebar Brown
Favorite Sunscreen? Clinique SPF for men
Travel must-haves? Non-iron shirts from Brooks Brothers
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