Advertising campaigns are what makes brands memorable, even today. Of course, the products that are created are important, there’s no doubt about it, but the ad campaign is key to selling what Don Draper calls “happiness”. Over the years, fashion advertising campaigns have gone from dramatic, to over-the-top in your face, to discreet and laidback and virtually invisible, and the cycle has repeated itself.
One exception is Bottega Veneta, whose campaigns have consistently stayed “editorial”. What I mean is, if you were to take out the label on the page that stated the brand’s name, you might not realise that it was an advertising campaign. It could just be a beautifully shot photo that would fit into a fashion stylist’s shoot. The obvious exception might be the Intrecciato bags that are its icon. (Incidentally, the Kering Group‘s other major fashion label, Gucci, is also taking on a more expressive artistic style with its #GucciGram campaign going on right now.)
Robert Longo and Bottega Veneta
This looks awesomely fun on a fashion shoot, let alone an advertising campaign
The trick to its success is by working with unexpected people. Tomas Maier’s creative interests resides with film directors, art photographers, artists, with a few fashion photographers thrown in once in a while for good measure. But our favourite campaign for menswear was the Robert Longo one, the fall of 2010, emulating his “Men in the Cities” series. Tomas Maier was a big fan of that work as well, so he convinced Longo to work with them on a similarly styled campaign. The result was dazzling.
The behind the scenes video campaign of the shoot
Another memorable one was Alex Prager, whose work takes the dramatic and heightens it into dreaminess, using accessories. Her shot for the spring of 2011 was a realistic, more intense shot from the perspective of someone driving a vehicle, perhaps looking out at a street sign or traffic signal, bag carelessly tossed in the passenger’s seat. Realism, accentuated.
Alex Prager’s series for Bottega Veneta
Bottega Veneta has compiled its years of working with creative individuals into a book, The Art of Collaboration, out shortly in stores, where you can look at its inventive campaigns over the year and admire its style. The book will be available in bookstores. Check out the series of videos on the Rizzoli hardcover below.