Archive for February, 2021

‘Gentle Road Warrior’… Clyde Semmoh (1968 – 2021)

Clyde Semmoh was a friend of the family. We’d been working together for over 15 years. Initially with Clyde as the daily go to stylist for CODE magazine, and over the more recent years within the context of Super Stories. His funeral was Monday 15th February. COVID complications took his life.

Image: Martin Scott Powell

Super Stories was born from a team that, for over a decade, published CODE magazine, a men’s style magazine rooted in streetwear. Documenting Style was its subtitle. And that’s exactly what we did.

Simply Clyde

Clyde brought streetwear to the Netherlands as the first agent for the likes of Stussy. He was the first Dutch street skater with a pro model, riding for the legendary Alva brand, and carried a sense of easy going authority that was almost infuriating at times. The guy could be cocky! But always in a mild-mannered and gentle way. Clyde was simply Clyde. A legend for those who knew, he would never demand the limelight.  

Clyde lived several lives in one. A DJ with an encyclopaedic knowledge regarding music, with mixtapes for every road trip. A stylist with a true love for people. A skateboarder, riding easy,

All about the love

Always willing to share his massive network, his ideas, his interest in life, Clyde gave without losing himself. CODE was his canvas to express his vision on style. It was a vision we shared, fuelled by a love for the fragile and fleeting beauty that can be found in reality. The beauty of people who shine like diamonds. Clyde was one of those diamonds himself. We featured him in this video (Men of Style) for Dockers. For Dyneema®, we developed a skateboard chino of near-unbreakable denim together, and took it, on his recommendation, to the legendary Prado Bowl in Marseilles. 

Shoots abroad for CODE would often take up to five days. Clyde traveled with us all over the world and covered a wide range of subjects. From Jamaica with photographer Jussi Puikkonen; to Imsouane, Morocco with photographer Martin Scott Powell for Book of Denim; to Kiev, Ukraine where we shot a video for DSM; to Shaoguang, China, where we documented the reality of a Chinese denim factory, Prosperity Textile. The list goes on and on.

In 2020, we worked on two final projects together. A week long shoot for our soon to be launched Green Is Golden project. It was the hottest week of 2020, temperatures well above 30-degrees, and Clyde was racing back and forth by car between two shoots he was styling simultaneously. He managed to look at ease at all times. And then in December, we spent a day shooting tastemakers in Blue City Rotterdam for Dutch sustainable denim label Kings Of Indigo. Our last conversation was about working together with him as a photographer. It feels incredibly sad we did not get to do this.

Effortless style

Someone asked me recently: ‘What made Clyde such a good stylist?’ I tried to explain how we did not aim for the most ‘fashionable’ styling. We’d look for charismatic subjects with strong personalities, and Clyde would dress them with a few well chosen items that accentuated personalities instead of erasing them. In a naive way maybe we were looking for the truth together. When things really worked out, people would look more like themselves while being styled.


Image: Martin Scott Powell

To watch Clyde working, was to observe an easy chat, a joke or two to break the ice, the way some photographers combine observation with loosening up the subject. And in the instant you were feeling comfortable, he would reach into his bag and say “hey, I think this suits you. Would you like to try it on?” And more often than not, one or two items later, that person had become this immaculate version of themselves. Clyde created instant snapshots of style. Seeing him work was such a joy to witness.

Clyde was the original, peaceful road warrior. Effortless style embodied. A gentle giant who travelled far and wide and touched literally thousands of people with his spirit. So many that the turnout to his digital funeral service broke their servers. His journey, and our shared journey, has been abruptly halted. We will miss him dearly.

Safe travels, Clyde Semmoh. Godspeed

Clyde Semmoh passed away on Saturday February 6th 2021. Clyde was 52, and leaves behind his partner and daughter of 4. A Gofundme has been kicked off to finance amongst others a fund for his daughter. 

Clyde Semmoh

Image: Ruud van Bragt