A powerful expression of individuality and diversity, cosplay is a global phenomenon that allows anyone to become a hero for a day.
After attending a cosplay convention in 2017, photographer Thurstan Redding became captivated by cosplay as a subject matter and embarked on a three-year photographic project to portray cosplay in a way it had never been seen before. Brought to life through the presentation of seventy cosplayers in unassuming locations, Kids of Cosplay highlights how creativity can thrive in the most mundane realities: Spider-Man is illuminated by the open fridge in a kitchen, three Alices wait at a bus stop in a desolate Wonderland, a Resistance Pilot plays dead on the gravel driveway of a suburban housing complex. Supplemented by commentary from the cosplayers themselves, together with behind-the-scenespages from Thurstan’s personal diary, Kids of Cosplay “celebrates the unique community spirit that exists within this charming—and, the more you look, surprisingly moving—parallel universe of glorious, generous pageantry” (Vogue).
A foreword by fashion powerhouse Katie Grand; an essay by writer and performer Tom Rasmussen, who discusses the social and cultural context of cosplay; and an illuminating interview with Redding by noted fashion writer Sara McAlpine complete Kids of Cosplay. Sometimes, you only have to scratch the surface of our reality to reveal the fantasy that lies beneath.
Thurstan Redding is a Hong Kong–born, French-raised British photographer and director based in London. His work explores the intersections between identity politics, subcultural movements, and classical photography. He has contributed to i-D, M: Le Magazine du Monde, British Vogue, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Arena Homme +, Document Journal, Love, the Wall Street Journal, Re-Edition, and Replica. His commercial clients include Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Chloé, and Burberry.