While growing up just outside of Atlanta, GA, Justin Bridges had dreams of becoming a professional basketball player or a corporate CEO. Little did he know his career would take a turn into a more creative direction.
After studying finance and economics at The American University in DC, Justin moved to New York City permanently in the summer of 2008 for an opportunity with Goldman Sachs. “I knew I wanted to get into fashion after finance but I was both under and overqualified and expensive.” After a few months of being unemployed, starting his blog and interning in a showroom, “which was super weird being a grown unpaid intern,” says Justin, he decided to get head hunters involved. After taking positions at J. Crew and Saks Fifth Avenue, Justin quickly realized the need to align his career with his love of photography. “I loved photography since college; I just never thought I would be able to make money doing it.” In 2013 Justin had the opportunity to work for The Sartorialist as a Men’s Editor/Photographer. “It was the closest job I had to the creativity that I was yearning for. I was able to take photos, travel, and be involved on an editorial level with men’s and women’s fashion.”
Some photographers that Justin looks to for inspiration are Paul Jung, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helmut Newton, Viviane Sassen and Estevez & Belloso. “I’m inspired by all work as long as it’s tasteful and thoughtful.” Justin’s advice for aspiring photographers? “Underscoring all the business talk, if you want to be a photographer, you have to love it and that love for it has to shine through in all the ways it can. You should be constantly learning, constantly experimenting, constantly getting better.”
In addition to fashion and photography, Bridges loves to eat, play basketball, and enjoys being in nature. He also loves bookstores (the less commercial the better), interior design, and loves to write. “One of my favorite things to do is pull up a stool at one of my regular wine bars and pull out a notebook and write until I’m pretty much tanked and can’t string together anything poetic any longer. I’m a huge romantic (usually and most hopelessly so).”
CADET honors Justin Bridges for his creativity, conviction, and bravery to follow his passion.
Check out Justin's work at justinbridges.com.
Photographed at Lincoln Center and Central Park by A. Gardiner