• adidas + UO: Lumia Nocito

    The future is now. For our new + exclusive adidas campaign, we teamed up with 19 up-and-coming creative minds that our shaping our cultural landscape. Scroll on to go behind the scenes of our Fall 2016 campaign and meet the creatives who are working to #createourfuture. 

    The world has a lot to look forward to from rising photographer Lumia Nocito. Working under the guidance of her half-brother Jason Nocito and Petra Collins, her work has caught the eye of editors and curators around the world, and she hasn't even graduated high school. Here, we talk to Lumia about find her passion and her hopes for the future. 
    Lead photo by Petra Collins

    Photo by Petra Collins

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? 
    I grew up in Tribeca, and now I live in Harlem. I go to high school on the Upper East side. I’m an artist. My main medium is photography. I used to have a hamster, and it died, so I got another one. I was really little, so I named them both the same name. 

    What did you name them?
    Lacey. Rest in peace, Lacey. I have an older sister and a younger brother. And then there’s six older half-brothers also. There are nine of us total. 

    You’re a photographer, and you assist on photo shoots as well, when did you start doing that? 
    I started assisting on photo shoots maybe about a year ago. Petra Collins was, basically, my main gal for photo assisting. That was it. But I’ve been taking classes for a couple years because I realized that I could do photography when I was in the 8th grade and I decided to pursue it, and then certain awards and classes came up that pushed me to continue pursuing it. 

    Photo by Braina Laviena @picsfortipz 

    How did you first meet Petra? 
    I met Petra when I modeled at her house for her Crime series. That day I met her, I was about to ask her if I could assist sometime, and she ended up asking me, which was really rad. I was really excited to meet a really successful, powerful woman who does the same art that I do. 

    How have you grown since working with her? 
    Our relationship has grown, but I’ve also grown as an artist in the sense that I have a better grasp on the dynamic of photography sets can be. I understand that you might have to deal with people who aren’t necessarily the nicest and that you have to be prepared for anything, whether it’s technical problems with your camera or something breaking. I’ve also learned a lot about being on both sides of the camera. Overall, it’s really cool to see her drive. That’s really inspiring for me. I have so much love for her. 

    What’s the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome? 
    When I was younger, it was hard for me to understand that there was something out there that I wanted to do. I kind of just wanted to sleep all the time. Then, I found photography, and I was doing it for a while. It was hard because there were certain standards that were set by society, that were pressed upon me, and they became my values. It was hard for me to recognize that I had to pursue art with my everything, and that I had to be independent in terms of my success and really get it on my own. There were a lot environmental factors and also people in my life that pushed me to understand that. It's been a struggle, but it's also been a very enjoyable process. 

    Photo by Petra Collins

    When was the first time you felt like you’d succeeded in your work? 
    In 8th grade, when I didn't want to do anything with my life, my sister submitted my photos to an art competition even though I had told her not to, and I ended up winning a couple of awards. I started to think, "Okay, maybe I can do this." Part of me knew that I wanted to do art, because my sister had been drawing ever since she was really little, but drawing wasn't my medium, and I had never considered photography. I took a class in my school, which is blessed that they have one, the year after that. I won more awards, and the International Center of Photography contacted my teacher and said, "We want to give Lumia a scholarship." Again, I started to think, "Okay, rad. Maybe I can do this."

    I had my older brother, Jason, to push me, which was also inspiring. The biggest thing was that I won a Young Arts Award, which is a multidisciplinary art award, so it's dance and singing and all of that stuff. That happened this year in the fall, and I was chosen alongside ten other photographers from around the country. We were flown out to Miami to take classes and compete for money, which was really sick. Once I came back, my perspective was completely different, I remember being out there and explaining to my teachers that I had no other option but to do art after that experience. That's something that really changed my life and really pushed me to do things like assist for Petra.

    Photo by Braina Laviena @picsfortipz 

    Can you tell us about a time when you’d felt like you failed? 
    A couple of kids I know started this magazine, and they rented a studio out for me to shoot in. I didn't realize it, but I didn't bring any type of lighting. I wasn't a good flash photographer, and once I was in that studio, I realized that none of my past work was even shot in a studio, it was all more candid and taken outdoors. The shoot didn't go well, none of the photos were usable. That was a good learning experience, but I did mess up that part. It's okay, we all still talk. It's cool. 

    If you could talk to everyone in the world at once, what would you say? 
    I would ask, "Are you doing what you love and what makes you happy?”

    When you think about our future, what are you hopeful for? 
    I'm hopeful that art will be here for as long as we are and that it will, in some way, save us.

    Photo by Petra Collins

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