From break-dancing to BMX riding, Armen Djerrahian knew what was cool in Paris’ streets before the masses did. It’s no surprise that when he decided to become a photographer, he knew who to shoot, capturing a young Jay-Z for the French media well before Hova was the international star he is today. Since them, everyone from Rick Ross to 50 Cent has stood in front of his lens for photos and music videos.

These days, the French photographer/director calls NYC his home, so we caught up with him in Soho for a candid talk about his career in film, his favorite Instagrammers, and his favorite all-time pieces. He weighs in on his favorite stuff to collect. Considering he’s made his living on making people look cool, we’re taking his style tips seriously.

For more on Armen’s work, check out his website.

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