Adrian Nina is a photographer and a creative guy in general and you can see that in the way he dresses as well as in the images he captures. We became friends about three years ago and shortly after I went to his birthday party that took place in a boat house in upstate New York – something that involved walking on the train tracks in order to get to the actual house – quite dangerous and illegal by the NY State Law.
But this is Nina – he always pulls a rabbit out of the hat. Apart from that he’s a great host and his waffles are something everyone should try once in their lifetimes.
ST: Hi Adrian! Welcome! If you were to describe what you do to an old friend that you haven’t seen in a while, what would you say?
AN: Hey! I would tell him/her that I’m a hopeless romantic who happens to take photos for a living.
ST: Can you give us some background info like how did you get started and if this is something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
AN: I have been a photographer in New York for over a decade now. Best place in the world where you never run out of interesting subjects or things to do. A MetroCard is like a ticket to a multi-dimensional world. And it’s just one stop away. I see the life around me very amusing at times, and I want to capture and keep it with me. Kind of like a thief of moments…and that’s how I started to take photos. I would capture everything I want to show myself in 20, 30, 50 years from the time of pressing the shutter button. I never dreamed/thought of myself of doing this professionally, but the moment I arrived in New York I knew that this was something that gives me insane pleasure.
ST: What does being successful mean to you?
AN: Being happy and content with what you already have. Sure, it’s always nice to get a new fashion accessory, a new camera, a new car or whatever your brain thinks you need. But realize that at the end of the day they don’t make you successful. Remarkable stories, lovers and adventures will.
ST: How would you describe your style?
AN: My mom disapproves, my father accepts, and I just call it pure mad-hatter madness. I like fedora hats. I think a hat can either make or break the entire outfit. The quality of the garment is also very important. Wear something that is crafted good, and feels good. Always pay good attention to little details.
ST: You are going to an after-party at Coachella. What are you wearing?
AN: I always wanted to play this game with my friends where we have no more than $20 to spend at a Good Will or Salvation Army store and come up with the most eccentric/creative get-together. I think that’s how I’ll dress.
ST: Do you have any daily habits or rituals that help you being productive and/or creative?
AN: Yes. The best way to stay organized and to stop yourself from going crazy is to discipline yourself to do ONE THING AT THE TIME. I know it’s hard, when we are constantly being asked numerous tasks at once, but once you do it, you will find yourself extremely productive.
ST: Any tips or advice on how can someone develop a cool personal style?
AN: A personal style is an “enhancement” of your personality. That’s why nobody should tell you how to dress or what to wear. Everybody is different. Try to stay comfortable and practical but still looking fresh and chic.
ST: You’ll like this one: You’re going to a friend’s birthday party. What are you bringing as a gift?
AN: I always thought of my presence being the gift but that’s just being lazy ?. I like to go for gifts that are practical, something they need or they can use in everyday life. Like a pencil sharpener for example.
ST: What is a clothing item that every man should own?
AN: Every man should own a good ugly sweater.
ST: Who is the first person you think when you say Iconic?
AN: Definitely Salvador Dali. He created a new universe, and it made sense.
ST: Favorite watch?
AN: Would be a Vintage Omega Seamaster de Ville, from the 1960’s.
ST: Car or motorcycle? The ideal model?
AN: Car wise It must be Rolls Royce Silver Shadow 2. It is the last car Rolls Royce made that still had a classic look. A motorcycle would be a Royal Enfield.
ST: Your favorite clothing item?
AN: My military coats. All of them ?
ST: What’s your go-to cocktail, Adrian?
AN: Anything with mezcal in it wins my heart. Love its smoky taste.
ST: Who is your female inspiration?
AN: Nancy Johnson – she invented the ice-cream maker.
ST: If you would be stranded on an island and you could pick one book (fiction or non-fiction), one music album and one personal item, what would these be?
AN: The book would be “How to make new Imaginary friends and be okay with it” . How would I be able to play the music album? You’re’ kind of forcing me to have wind-up gramophone as a personal item Silviu ?). And I would play anything by Peggy Lee.
ST: What is your all-time favorite movie?
AN: A Single Man, the movie Tom Ford directed. Such perfection.
ST: If it could pick any place in the world to live in, where would it be?
AN: Today I am obsessed with Paris.
ST: You have a mild hangover after a night out. Where would be the best place in the world for you to have breakfast the morning after?
AN: There is this place in Williamsburg called Simple Café, they have a buffet for breakfast where I usually pig out everything I can get my hands on. And it’s so good… and French.
ST: What are your plans for the future?
AN: I want to have a solo gallery show in Chelsea.
ST: And lastly, is there anything you’d like to promote on this page? It can be an idea or a quote, or anything at all you’d like to share with the readers?
Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Very nice! Thank you, Adrian!