Bring & Buy was driven by Nick Knight’s desire to show how clothes could be given value other than that accorded to them by their label and prominence in the pages of fashion magazines. A request was sent out in July 2005 to SHOWstudio’s collaborators and viewers to donate garments that held some special significance for them. It asked that the clothes be accompanied by their story—who they had belonged to, when they had been worn, what special part they had played in the wearer’s life. Submissions were received from viewers worldwide, as well as from well-known international stars such as Patti Smith, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton and Björk.
The garments formed the basis of a major fashion shoot for the October 2005 issue of i-D magazine, curated by Nick Knight. Inspired to break down the territorial barriers created by magazines where photographers and stylists are forbidden to work on rival publications, Knight assembled a cast of stylists from magazines such as POP, i-D, Dazed & Confused, Vogue, AnOther magazine and Arena Homme Plus, in order to style actors and fashion models including Erin O’Connor, Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova.
SHOWstudio viewers were witness to the entire trajectory of the project, from the parcel opening to the styling sessions and photoshoots. Viewers were invited to enter into dialogue with the team, sending comments and questions via a live rolling stream. Following the shoot, the garments were auctioned on eBay to raise money for Oxfam.