Campaign Feature: Wix’s “Zero Gravity”

Stav Strashko poses in ZERO-GRAVITY. Image courtesy of PRNewsfoto/ Ltd.

The fashion industry is always looking for new ideas and concepts to inspire new fashion collections, campaigns and editorial shoots. Iconic fashion editor Diana Vreeland was a master at finding unique locations for what became iconic fashion editorials in Harper’s Bazaar and American Vogue in the 1950s and 60s.

Who can forget Dovina posing with a circus elephant, Nastassja Kinski with a boa, or Verushka pairing with a very tall Samurai warrior in the snowy mountains of Japan? These iconic fashion images are etched in our minds for time eternal.

You might want to add to those iconic images Reiko Wakai “Zero Gravity” fashion shoot for Wix’s “Capture Your Dream” campaign. Though zero gravity fashion photography has been done before, Wakai took the genre to a new level by employing transgendered top model Stav Strashko. Fashion Reverie was fortunate to interview both Wakai and Stav Strashko about this very interesting fashion editorial.

                             Image of Stav Strashko and Reiko Wakai  courtesy of

Fashion Reverie: Why the concept of Zero Gravity for this fashion shoot?

Reiko Wakai: When I found out about Wix’s “Capture Your Dream Photo” campaign, I entered the contest by submitting my Wix website and dream shoot and won! The idea of the campaign was photographers with a Wix website to submit their portfolio and describe their dream photo shoot. I came up with the idea of the shoot while watching television with my father on New Year’s. We were watching a program about indoor skydiving and found it very interesting. As a fashion photographer, I am always thinking about how to incorporate what inspires me into my work. That’s how I came up with an idea of a fashion photo shoot with a model floating in mid-air. When I learned about the campaign, I knew I had to take the chance to win the opportunity of a lifetime.

FR: Zero gravity as a concept for a fashion shoot has been done before, what makes this shoot stand out?

Reiko Wakai: Unlike other photo shoots, this was one that was not done for a specific fashion label or with a specific editorial shoot in mind. Wix took me into zero gravity to help me capture my dream photograph. This a huge differentiator and truly amazing. Most photographers never have an international team come together to help them fulfill a dream. This shoot was one where the I was able to have creative control while working within the parameters set by the Federal Aviation Administration. FR: Why the choice of trans model Stav Strashko for this shoot? 

Reiko Wakai: I first saw Stav Strashko in a major international campaign did. I was impressed by her beauty and enigmatical look, and started to look for more details about her. Once I started following her on Instagram, I also started to hope to photograph her one day. For Wix’s “Capture Your Dream Photo” contest, Wix offered me the choice to choose any model I wanted, so naturally, Stav was one of my first choices.

FR: What garments did you use in the shoot, and why?

Reiko Wakai: I worked with stylist, Mimi Fisher, to develop an aesthetic that was futuristic and space-like, and with an abundance of metallic tones. With limited time inflight for a style change, Mimi layered Stav Strashko with the top layer taking inspiration from a stylish astronaut that was dressed in a high-end metallic suit with a backpack and tubing that swirled around her. Changing between parabolas, Stav was stripped to the first layer of clothing: a beautiful futuristic alien, that dons elegance and grace.

                                             Image courtesy of PRNewsfoto/ Ltd.

FR: What are the difficulties in capturing the right images and poses when using zero gravity?

Stav Strashko: There were a few challenges, the biggest one being in zero gravity itself. We only have 15, 30-seconds shoots to get the right photo. Because we were in zero gravity our bodies were constantly moving, and it was hard to look at the camera because of the feeling of disorientation. One of the biggest difficulties was looking beautiful and graceful while in zero gravity. That said; Reiko was a pleasure to work with and was extremely professional the entire time.

FR: How long did the shoot take?

Stav Strashko: The shoot took place for the duration of one flight in which we only had 15, 30-second chances in zero gravity to capture Reiko’s dream photo.

FR: How hard was it get the right poses for the shoot and how long did it take for you to adjust to zero gravity? 

Stav Strashko: It was difficult. Both I and Reiko were floating, so I’d have to pay attention to where the camera was and being in zero gravity makes it very difficult to focus on one spot. We had to adjust very quickly as we were doing this entire shoot during the duration of one flight. Knowing the time constraints, we had to adjust instantly. We first started in martian, and then lunar gravity so that we better adapt to the sensation, though it is such a strange sensation to get used to.

   Stav Strashko poses in spacesuit in ZERO-GRAVITY.  Image courtesy of PRNewsfoto/ Ltd.

FR: Was there any special training involved for this kind of shoot?

Stav Strashko: Yes. We were told in advance what to eat, as well as how to prepare ourselves. Prior to the flight, we had a training course where we learned more about the mechanics of what we were about to experience and how to make the most of it.

FR: Would you do it again?

Stav Strashko: Definitely! Because I was working and doing something different. It would be great to experience it as a passenger.




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