Mirror Image

Port partners with Ralph Lauren on a styled shoot celebrating its Wear Your Story campaign, a celebration of family and nostalgia

Most of us recognise ourselves in the mirror after 18 months, some are comforted by reflections of themselves from birth. Twins – the monozygotic or dizygotic phenomenon – are said to share not only physical similarities, but oftentimes a nonsensical, secret language – cryptophasia. It is a bond reinforced by material style, their similarities made all the more pronounced by matching or contrasting clothing. Parents will often dress their twins the same to keep things simple, but confess they sometimes cannot tell the difference between them. At the close of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Duke Orsino comments on the play’s twins after Viola throws off her gender swapping clothes and reveals herself for who she truly is, declaring: “One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons. / A natural perspective that is, and is not!”          

In a collaboration with Ralph Lauren for its Wear Your Story campaign – a celebration of the stories and nostalgia from a favourite denim item – we street cast two sets of identical twins for a styled shoot in Berlin, celebrating their unique bond. The launch is an extension of the brand’s Family Campaign that first began in April this year, featuring an eclectic spectrum of families – from multigenerational to same-sex couples. It also falls under the fashion house’s renewed commitment to creating truly sustainable denim and responsible cotton production – with the aim to sustainably source 100% of its cotton and reduce water use by 20% across all operations and value chain by 2025.

Below, the twins reflect on their childhood memories, differing styles and how having each other has shaped their identity.   

Azza & Azama

Did your parents dress you the same – could they always tell you apart? 

Yes, they always tried to dress us the same. We would wear the same outfit but different colours. Sometimes, we would choose and wear our own outfits. They could always tell us apart. 

How has having a twin shaped your identity? What special bond did you have growing up?

Azza: In the beginning I’ve sometimes felt like people would think we are the same. Now that I’m older and the more we work together I feel like my differences from my sister can be embraced and celebrated. Our special bond I would say is that we have our own language where we know what each other is thinking.

Azama: Having a twin shaped my identity in the sense that I became more aware of my differences from my sister, and perhaps unconsciously I’ve highlighted those differences in myself, especially as an artist.

Although you’re physically identical, in what ways are you very different?

Azza: I am more introverted and my sister is extroverted. We like to say one of us sunrise (Azama) and the other (Azza) sunset. Same light but different energies. 

How has your style changed over the years?

Azza: I’ve always been kind of a tomboy, so I would say my style hasn’t really changed that much. I guess now I like to incorporate a few feminine aesthetics, and try to represent more of who I am as a human being.

Azama: I’ve always had an elegant style, but recently I’ve added masculine pieces to my style.

How would you define your overall aesthetic in one word?

Natural. 

Can you talk a little bit about the childhood photo, and why it was chosen? 

Azama: I chose this one because we are smiling. 

Azza: I chose the one where we’re are hugging because you can see our bond, and it reminds me that we’ll always have each other.

Rosenthal Twins

Did you parents dress you the same – could they always tell you apart?

Yes, they dressed us the same but in different colours. Chris was in blue and Phil in red. When we were young, until the age of three, it was a bit difficult to keep us apart. After that it was a bit easier.

How has having a twin shaped your identity? What special bond did you have growing up?

We have the same childish impressions and felt the pain of the other.

Although you’re physically identical, in what ways are you very different?

Chris is the meaningful one and Phil, he’s the lively one.

How has your style changed over the years?

There was no big change at all. I suppose every child changes his style when he can pick clothes for himself. We started skating at the age of 12 and stayed true to this style. Over time we’ve added some matching fashion items. Over all, they were just upgrades.

How would you define your overall aesthetic?

We are not only twin brothers. We are also twins of the zodiac, sharing the same Gemini sign. The definition of a twin goes well with it. “The twin is a lively, versatile person who meets the demands of life with an alert mind. He wants to know everything, explore and grasp his environment, the recognition of connections is a basic need for him”.

Can you talk a little bit about the childhood photo, and why it was chosen?

We chose it because we have the same hair as we have now. In addition we wear the different blue and red clothes as a great example.

Shop the collection here

Photographer – Lea Wormsbach
Stylist – Dan May
Groomer – Patricia Heck
Models – Phillipp Rosenthal & Christopher Rosenthals
Models – Azama & Azza
All clothing from the POLO AW19 Denim and Outerwear collections

Ralph Lauren Coffee

Ralph Lauren spills the beans on his New York coffee venture
Ralph's Coffee

As Ralph Lauren overhauls his brand identity, bringing back the Polo name, he’s also opening new flagship stores and coffee shops. It’s not necessarily what you’d except from Lauren, but as well as a passion for well-cut suits and preppy polo shirts, it appears Lauren is also a passionate caffeine lover – which might explain his productivity over the last 74 years.

Ralph’s Coffee is located on the second floor of his new Polo flagship store at 711 Fifth Avenue, in New York City. “The smell of freshly brewed coffee evokes so many memories for me,” he explains. “Mostly, of time spent with friends and family – the people I love. I wanted to develop coffee blends in that spirit, and create a place where people could come together and take a break from their busy days.” Featuring mosaic-tiled floors, white weathered beadboard walls, an aged oak 18-foot ceiling and artisan-crafted lights, customers are able to enjoy Lauren’s private blends, made from organic coffee beans. It’s a well-deserved sit down for both Ralph Lauren customers and the man himself.