May 12, 2020
The Self Edge Sonny Barger Lookbook, shot at Sonny’s home in the Arizona desert in 2009. Sonny Barger was a co-founder of the Hells Angels, the world’s most notorious motorcycle club. Eleven years later and it’s crazy to think we were able to set this up and make it happen as the negotiations between us and the Hells Angels’ attorney leading up to this shoot were so sticky. Even as we arrived in Arizona we weren’t completely sure if it was going to happen. In the end it all worked out as we spent an entire day at Sonny’s house, which is the wildest Hells Angels museum you’ll ever see. We were not allowed to shoot the inside of his house, though we were able to shoot in his home gym which he set up after becoming obsessed with weightlifting during his last stint in prison. We brought him a black Iron Heart denim vest as a gift and found out a couple years later that he had added it into his daily riding uniform. Regardless of what you think of Sonny Barger, and regardless of what truths and lies have been written about him, he created a culture so wide and deep that it continues to influence biker culture, fashion, music, and everything in between to this very day.
These photos were part of our lookbook for the summer of 2009 and were also used as a series of ads on the back cover of Vice Magazine the same year.
Creative Direction: Kiya Babzani