This week, Cathy Horyn of the New York Times wrote an excellent article that addressed “a feeling that you are on multiple channels and not understanding anything clearly, as a condition of modern life.” The article quotes fashion photographer Daniel Sannwald on many accounts, who claims that fashion has nothing to say right now, and Cathy connects that with our re-visit of sexuality and gender crossovers in fashion editorials and ads.
In the article, Nicola Formichetti, new creative director for Thierry Mugler (and Lady Gaga stylist), called Rick Genest, a guy he found on Facebook and is tattooed as a skeleton, his muse. “Rico,” as he is known, will be modeling in Formichetti’s first collection for Thierry Mugler on January 19th.
Dior Homme just released a video to highlight the Spring 11 collection. Kris Van Assche worked with photographer Willy Vanderperre on the 55-second short in which model Victor Nylander tosses and turns while sleeping on a homeless-like mat.. and wearing a Dior Homme suit no less. The film has a gritty sort of quality, shot in black and white with that old school crunchiness of a record player in the background as well as playground sounds, skateboarding and deep breathing. And from the likes of the tossing and turning, it was a pretty sweet dream. Select stills from the film will be used for print ads.
I never thought I’d say this, but one of my favorite Fall 10/11 ad campaigns happens to be that of Tommy Hilfiger. Shot by Craig McDean, “Introducing the Hilfigers” really captures the spirit of American prep met with a sense of humor, realized by a 16-member dysfunctional family. The parents are frequently seen with glass in hand and other “characters” include a son expelled from boarding school.
Tommy Hilfiger has had a rocky past 10 years but I have the feeling the brand is getting back on track. A strong message like this certainly leads me to think so. The campaign gets high marks from a heritage standpoint (which a lot of luxury brands are leaning towards) and fully embodies American sportswear in a positive albeit twisted way. Which, come to think of it, is that much more real in the landscape of great American families. Another thing I like about this campaign is that the outfits are composed of items from ALL of Hilfiger’s lines including runway, licensed products, Hilfiger Sportswear and Macy’s Hilfiger collection. In the end the SPIRIT of all the Tommy Hilfiger lines remains consistent and is so perfectly captured in this campaign.
Burberry was one of the first luxury brands to “get it” in terms of relaying a luxurious lifestyle on their website. Art Of The Trench deserves all the endless praise it has achieved from the beginning, especially with relaying the brand’s heritage message to today’s street-obsessed culture. But now chief creative officer Christopher Bailey is up to something else with true WOW factor, that extends beyond the brand’s 3-D runway show in February and previous video look books.
Burberry’s Fall 10 ad campaign, shot by Mario Testino, is now digital and interactive on burberry.com. The photos below don’t do it justice – it’s something you need to see and “feel” to believe. The way you could move the screen to see different views, models walking, picking up bags or trench coat collars, is really kind of amazing. It’s as if you are going deep into the depths of every image to uncover another layer which would otherwise go unnoticed. The music set to this new feature really helps push the “feeling” element forward.
I can only expect that from this initiative, once Fall product is available, there will also be a link from the interactive campaign to buy product, much like the video look books did in the past.
In related news, Bailey has also launched an initiative that channels his passion for music. Burberry Acoustic features hand-picked emerging British bands which so far include Life in Film, Mitsy Miller and Ramona.
While there is no real visual evidence of a marketing tie-in on Burberry Acoustic, apparently some band members are wearing Burberry pieces mixed in with their own clothes. While that’s all good and fine, the recent Spring 11 menswear show video has also been added to the same area of the site. Placing runway right next to new music videos has me kind of puzzled. I’m all for groundbreaking fashion films, technology and music tie-ins; my only concern would be that too many different types of media might become overwhelming to the customers, depending on placement. For example, will customers be able to shop from the ad campaign, video look book, runway and by category? When it comes to videos, I feel like maybe 1 or 2 media formats are enough, more than that may become a bit excessive.