An Interview with SCOUT's Creative Director and Co-Founder, Deb Waterman Johns
When Deb decided to form SCOUT with her husband, she brought with her a vast array of color and textile industry knowledge and invaluable experience gained working for Vogue. As Deb puts it, it was the eighties and eighties fashion that was a time of complete and utter excess, the most luxe photo shoots and truly the epitome of style and glamour. This unparalleled exposure undoubtedly shapes the way SCOUT continues to evolve. Read on to see how Deb's dynamic past continues to shape SCOUT's growth.
How long have you been doing SCOUT photo shoots?
DWJ: Our first photo shoot was for the Spring, 2012 fold-out catalog. We paid a family friend $100 to come with us to our photographer's studio in Baltimore as our very first SCOUT model. It is amazing how far we've come in 4 years.
What is the best part of the photo shoots?
DWJ: I love gathering everything -- I hate putting it back! So many of the props that are used in the photo shoots is stuff from our house, my closet, my travels. It's fun to pull all of these things together. You wouldn't believe it if you saw it -- our entire dining room is just a staging area for the ideas for the next shoot. 6 clothing racks, 16 Rump Roosts full of items I've purchased -- all organized by category. It's an extension of the office.
Which photo shoot was your favorite?
DWJ: The first, because it opened all sorts of possibilities for us; and the most recent, because we keep pushing the envelope. We have come a long way and it is really fantastic to watch and be involved in the evolution.
How did you prepare for the "Family Bag" shoot?
DWJ: The inspiration for the whole "Family Bag" came from Kate, our VP of Creative Engagement. The ideas for conceptual looks + tendencies are where I get involved. I pull the outfits that our models will be wearing and the props. I make sure each shoot is in keeping with SCOUT's overall look.
What goes into the looks for each shoot?
DWJ: The looks are based on the destination, products and formality. Where are we? Are we at the beach or are we in a log cabin? What products need to be featured? And then, what are we trying to convey?
What clothes are you pulling for the looks?
DWJ: I start with great basics -- I buy a lot of striped shirts, bright colored jackets and dresses, patterned pants that are color + white. It's always a mix of high and low, Forever 21 and Prada, the attainable and the inspirational. SCOUT's signature is an ageless model, dressed in high/low so anyone can look at them and think "it could be me!"
What are your favorite places to pull the looks?
DWJ: H&M, Zara, Forever 21. They all work because they mix with designer stuff.
Where you look for inspiration? Who are the people/companies who do it well, in your opinion?
DWJ: For inspiration I relate to people who have an identifiable look. Kate Spade: you see their stuff and you know it. Zara: they do minimalist well, it works. Ralph Lauren: very luxe + "more is better" signature style. It's very convincing and makes people want to be in that world.
Come back tomorrow as we will be continuing our behind the scenes look at the "Family Bag" shoot and the models who were a part of it!