In Memoriam: Nabile Quenum

Remembering the Cut’s extraordinary street-style photographer.

This week, the international fashion community was saddened to learn about the untimely death of Nabile Quenum, a 32-year-old street-style and fashion photographer from Paris who also blogged under the name, “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste.” According to sources close to Quenum, he went to sleep approximately two weeks ago in his apartment and never woke up. The cause of death is said to have been carbon-monoxide poisoning. Quenum is survived by his father Adolphe Lazare Richard Quenum and eight siblings. A private memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2018.

Nabile’s perspective was clear the minute he walked into the Cut offices two years ago wearing a pair of steam-punk-esque eyeglasses, Japanese cargo pants, and a plaid coat so distinctive that the outfit almost derailed the whole meeting. After explaining his love for Japanese brands, he told us what he loved about shooting street style, passionately detailing what made a good outfit — the special combination of attitude and personality that a particular person could bring out of certain clothes. He made it clear he would only photograph people whose outfits he found inspiring, regardless of how “famous” they were. He laughed his big, boisterous laugh and charmed us all.

Nabile was an editor as much as he was a photographer, and his best work turned brief encounters outside of fashion shows into editorial-worthy fashion shoots. Editing his images was never easy, as he sent an abundance and many of them were so exuberant, capturing the light and energy of the shows so well. He also went out of his way to include photographs of women of color, in a way that some street-style photographers had previously overlooked. When handing in an assignment, Nabile would sometimes disagree with us over an edit, in that wonderfully firm French, fashion-y way, and was never wrong. That same willingness to speak up came through this fall during Milan Fashion Week, when he stood up as one of the organizers of the #NoFreePhotos movement. He will be deeply missed.

Below, the fashion community shares their memories and what they loved about him most, and we’ve gathered some of our favorite shots from over the seasons.

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