Food & Drink
Seattle’s Street Seen – Hair Apparent
These vibrant styles all make the cut
By Jonathan Sposato April 12, 2023
This month’s “Seattle Seen” puts a special focus on the most beautifully hair-endowed amongst us. If hair is 75% self-esteem, then this segment of Seattle’s population would assuredly be plenty self-possessed. These trendsetters exhibit a vibrant display of personal style, grooming, make-up, and a distinctly Pacific Northwest attitude. These are the round pegs in the square holes, the misfits and troublemakers, and likely the very folks who challenge the status quo by beating to their own delightful rhythms.
Finding them in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Ballard, or Belltown, Seattle magazine’s on-the-street photographer Valerie Franc shows us that it’s a mistake to assume Seattle has no style game. These portraits aptly underscore the diversity and subversiveness of Seattle street style much more so than any Madison Avenue or Hollywood approximation of Seattle’s hip and trendy.
Franc says she’s always been attracted to photojournalism and portraiture. She took workshops in Arles, France, with renowned photojournalist Eric Bouvet, and a portraiture workshop with noted Seattle photographer and author Jenny Riffle at Photographic Center Northwest. She also learned from Ted Mase, a retired photojournalist who persuaded her to volunteer with street newspaper Real Change.
“I started working on a street portraiture project highlighting Pike Place Market,” Franc says. “I wanted to convey the vibe of that iconic Seattle landmark in all its diversity. Then came the pandemic, and I re-centered on Capitol Hill with no particular project in mind. I just photographed the strangers who caught my gaze.”