Category: editorial + advertising

KIM KARDASHIAN & KANYE WEST FOR VOGUE

there are no reasons left to hate. only reasons to love. what american vogue did was represent interracial coupling in the utmost of glamour. shot by annie lebovitz, the world’s most famous couple, kimberly kardashian and her fianceé, kanye west grace the april issue of the premiere fashion publication of all the world, vogue. the cover goes beyond what can be said of celebrity, or beyond what public relations offices could have ever built. there is a gap that has been bridged, a void that has now been filled. what happened when kim and kanye decided to get together was a merge; a blending of media culture. him from chicago, raised by a photojournalist and an english professor. her from los angeles, being raised by an armenian-american attorney businessman and stewardess. both have had upbringings that have shaped their view of the world, and have remarkably impacted the ways that they have built their own separate empires in music, film, fashion and commercial media. kanye’s fruitful career as a producer evolved into an even more fruitful career as one of rap’s most regarded performance artists, moving beyond the confines of urban media, and into the glossy competitive world of high fashion luxury. kim’s career as an american television personality has lent her image to a string of successful brands, and has assisted in further expanding the family business built on the kardashian name, along with her two sisters kourtney and khloé, all managed by their mother.

kanye’s career began to take an upshift while, he too was managed by his mother. kim learned the ropes of the entertainment industry, working for her dad at his entertainment firm, where she learned to hone in on her entrepreneurial instincts. kanye became quickly linked to rappers like jay-z, lending his production genius to various projects. as he developed as a solo artist, the visual component of his work rapidly developed through collaborations with world renowned artists and luxury designers. kim began gaining traction with her television career, which documents the life she leads with her two other sisters, brother and two step sisters. as their private boutique business developed, along with their regular television exposure, the world of celebrity embraced them. the public quickly became fascinated with both kim and kanye separately.

the two were associated for many years as friends before they joined in union in 2012. the two share a common struggle of the glaring spotlight, and the tragedy of losing a parent. both kim and kanye’s romantic struggles have separately and very publicly played out for the world’s stage. scrutinized for everything from styling choices, lyrics, romantic choices, or even the name of their child- one thing still remains, these two are making history. for my top 20 covers of 2013, kim kardashian was the only female to rank in my listing twice. the two appear in what is the first ever cover in vogue history for an interracial couple. a major feat and major first of intense value, the cover also beautifully represents what it means to be an american. that diversity, the blending of culture and that heightened sense of beauty. this will no doubt be the number one cover of the year, in my book. and i don’t give a fuck about what you think about kim kardashian, because she has become an emblem for women of color in business. kanye west actively pushes the artists boundaries in the music industry and no two could have been a better fit. a better fit for a vogue cover, a better fit for the world of celebrity and a better fit as a representation of what love can be in or out of the spotlight. to put it simple, this is progress for individuals of color.


 

congratulations to both kim kardashian and kanye west
special thanks to vogue and conde nast

JUAN BETANCOURT TOM FORD SKINCARE & GROOMING

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juan betancourt steps in to replace tom ford’s beloved, jon kortajarena it seems. ford is amping up to get into the grooming and skincare market and with advertising in this lane, it’s flawless. by flawless, i do mean betancourt, whom is represented by wilhelmina models in new york, as well as elite in barcelona. juan continues to build his resume with a few italian campaigns already under his belt and editorial cameos printed in both spanish and brazilian GQ in the past year. betancourt lives in the same aesthetic lane as kortajarena, and it’s no surprise that his face has been popping up in tom ford’s menswear pursuits, first appearing in ford’s menswear collection presentation images. while the campaign for the coming product collections aren’t as groundbreaking, they are indeed stunning and one thing’s for sure, it brings attention to the release of this line of products, as well as betancourt as an emerging talent in the realm of male modeling. i first noticed betancourt in a couple of low quality photoshoots that were looping the reblog circuit in the visual world of tumblr, i made mental note and saved his images for my own personal style file of grooming- his hair? amazing. i think the casting for this solo campaign was perfect; jon kortajarena would’ve been suitable as well, but im glad to see the ford label moving away from such casting expectations.  as we’ve seen with ford’s fragrance campaigns, he’s definitely not afraid to showcase skin, and this campaign has it’s share of it. im anticipating the actual product launch and would like to try some of the items out myself. congratulations to the ford label on this effort of expansion, im sure the market is ready to go all in with their credit cards ready. the collection is now available at participating retailers and includes everything from an illuminating SPF tint to make-up remover. applauding this campaign casting decision, love the direction and believe, whole heartedly, that tom ford skincare will eat the market up. hoping to see more of juan in the coming show season.

THE REINVENTION OF BALENCIAGA

balenciaga

it’s interesting to look at the ways in which brands are redefined & mass marketed in today’s global industry of fashion- balenciaga being one of the hottest on the block. though this rise in temperature is nothing new for the french based, spanish heritage label, the american whose been cast in the role of game changer at the house definitely has our attention. fashion school drop out, alexander wang is the new installment at balenciaga and is beginning to show through the labels design direction and now through advertising. anyone who knows about re-branding or re-invention knows it’s not an overnight process. wang’s understanding of street style & the merging of high style have proven to be a successful level of execution that is completely necessary in today’s fashion market. as a designer, you wear many hats- and we’re not talking millinery. you have to be a public figure, a celebrity, an artist, a business man and a public speaker among many other smaller or sub-roles within larger roles, im sure. headed toward the lane of today’s design superstars, like marc jacobs or karl lagerfeld; wang understands the importance in balance of beauty & business, which makes him a noted, as well as valuable asset.

what’s even more alluring in the discussion of balenciaga are the after thoughts of it’s own page turning history. an abrupt ending of one chapter & a jaw-dropping entry into the next had us all wondering what went wrong. the awe inspiring star power & design innovation that balenciaga became through the creative vision of nicholas ghesquière was nothing short of fashion genius. since that abrupt ending, and wang’s installment, ghesquière has opened up about his departure. exposing creative frustrations & lack of business know-how at the label. all this and one has to wonder- how can creativity prevail? most certainly, the house of balenciaga was thrust into modernity, shit- the house was thrust into the future and ultimately resulted in other houses following suit. there once was a tumblr account, which conveniently vanished from cyberspace, but was hailed by fashion kids & interestingly appeared before the announced departure of ghesquière; it reminded us of how thoroughly the house and ghesquière really have set the trends, and how other fashion houses followed suit- even years after balenciaga put them on their runway.

the history of balenciaga as a house, as well as it’s founding father, cristobal balenciaga are very interesting to compare and contrast. cristobal himself shyed away from the spotlight, he had no interest in popularized aesthetics. in fact, he was the opposite of christian dior. dior’s new look was rivaled with balenciaga’s fluid lines- streamlined and linear are how his work has often been described. cristobal murdered the fashion scene, debuting new silhouettes that redefined the ways that women could dress up to feel beautiful. these days, fashion has become too political. i’ll use the example of american vogue- you understand that only key players will land the cover & through negotiation or business strategy. that’s what fashion is today, the creative component is looked at secondary. the business angle is what allows or distracts from how far a label will go. balenciaga, in my mind, didn’t seem to have this problem. an unmistakably powerful combination, ghesquière for balenciaga ushered in a new era where it became about the clothes again. much to our dismay, this happened despite ghesquière’s own unhappiness there. imagine, if his legacy can be birthed even through frustration, what would happen should he be in a space of calm? in an environment where he was free to create, without restraint. inarguable is the legacy of balenciaga and now is an interesting point of re-invention.

following wang’s somewhat demur, or thoughtfully controlled debut during the FW13/14 show season, we now get our first look at the label’s latest advertising campaign, wang’s first at balenciaga. i loved the collections darkness & appreciated the use of texture. the cracked leather, the simulation of woodgrain- it was all very chic, but very wang. i struggled with the idea that balenciaga would remain as innovative as it had been while under the guidance of ghesquière, but then again- would it be a new era if we were to stay in that lane? would these collections by wang hinge too closely the aesthetics of his own namesake new york collections? how well will both differ? as a fashion school drop out, could wang pull it off with technical knowledge and understanding of silhouette? does he understand the format thoroughly enough to break it? now looking at the campaign, it seems as though he’s moving into the right direction, but even through the lens of steven klein and the anonymous backshot of kristen mcmenamy- you’re still left wondering. it’s the kind of marketing mentality that indeed keeps us wondering.

it’s pulling us in, whether we like it or not because we want to find out what will happen next. comparable to chanel, since  karl lagerfeld loves a good greyscaled image set, some might find the comparison too dull. for a name like wang or a name like balenciaga. wang’s 35 piece collection appeared a much more private mannered runway presentation. you felt the sense of change as you now sense in this campaign, yet you’re left longing for more. the hint of fluidity in silhouette makes me want to see more of the campaign; the palette for the collection was rather controlled as well- it leads me to believe that this elements are thought of. it’s all under control. the level of publicity given, the level of access given, the level of visibility seen from the clothes to the model. it’s all carefully under wraps. but will this prove to be a winning combination? how is the heritage and future both simultaneously being represented? no doubt, the ending of balenciaga is nowhere near- but now is where wang has to make it count. it seems as though he’s sticking to what he knows. black & white, it’s faultless. he’s played with texture heavily, but none of that is evident in the campaign, as yet. the referencing of the archives is present in the collection, but again, not in the campaign. how does this image represent that re-invention, that sense of ‘this is balenciaga’; more importantly, how does this create greater self distinction between balenciaga, a leader in innovation, and it’s other competitive counterparts? we’re watching and waiting, something tells me that something awaits behind that door.

THE FALL BRIAN ATWOOD CAMPAIGN

candice swanepoel stars in the first ever brian atwood footwear campaign, through the lens of mert alas + marcus piggot. drenched in sexual overtones, the campaign is one of many new ventures that will allow the atwood name to gain more visibility. creatively directed by giovanni bianco, also starring one of my male model favorites, chad white; the campaign appears to be almost too sexy. seemingly taking a page out of the tom ford’s how-to-dominate-fashion handbook, candice appears in nothing but atwood heels & is practically swimming in men throughout the 48 second video advertisement. the print images of the campaign capture that same sexual vibe accurately, complete with blue lighting & shadowed silhouettes. it’s been reported that the atwood label is looking to expand in the next year, with stand alone stores & a handbag collection in the works. i love that we’re seeing much more movement on the advertising tip for footwear companies. expansion seems to be the name of the game when you think of brands like atwood, or jimmy choo. unlike choo, which has seemingly entered a space of cheapened style, atwood maintains the same stylistic, feminine, ultra-hip aesthetic season after season. overall, i expect this level of sexiness from brian atwood; the shoes are amazing & the campaign serves exactly in that lane. i will say, however, the campaign is tinged in what i would classify as expected sex appeal. the bare-assed, heels only theme is nothing new & much more innovation will be needed in order to successfully expand far greater beyond the footwear realm of the market. from his friendships with rachel zoe, to his publicized romances with nate burk & engagement to  the handsome, dr. jake deutsch- atwood as an individual is dripping in style, great taste & unending sex appeal. i would like to see advertising that is much more sophisticated in that respect; not something that forces sexual energy in ways we’ve seen before. though potential is something that is vivid with the atwood design empire in waiting, i crave greater effort. the concept is well executed, but stale in many forms.

 

all advertising campaign content sourced by glossynewsstand

KATE MOSS FOR SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

in 1993, a 19 year old kate moss changed the modeling game. created as the anti-supermodel, moss had been discovered 4 years prior by storm model management founder, sarah doukas at JFK airport in new york city. from then to now, moss epitomizes what true supermodels are. her public image has remained relevant through the years & this season, her career is still going strong with her appearance for italian luxury label, salvatore ferragamo. a dark, seductive edge- the campaign also features male model sean o’pry as well as karmen pedaru. that said, moss is the star. shot by mikael jansson, the campaign is served with a dark, seductive edge. moss appears stunning as ever, aged to perfection; while pedaru & o’pry play the field in the backdrop almost like fixtures being nearly eclipsed by kate’s star power.

while the campaign itself is not one of the best this season, i felt it necessary to bring about the level of consistency in which kate moss has been able to perform through the years in fashion. i find it interesting that she was discovered & crafted as the anti-supermodel in the 90′s, only to become the ultimate supermodel & now the standard for what ‘supermodels’ are in our modern times. girls move to new york in the droves each year looking to become the next kate moss & her name alone, holds weight. this season, like many others of the past, kate remains untouchable- landing three other campaigns in addition to this one. as the anti-supermodel, the era that kate ushered in has given way to a revitalized view of beauty, age and the level of demand of versatility from models across the globe. kate moss has blossomed in front of our eyes, debuting as a girl & championed as a woman- still working successfully. which im sure that will continue from many more seasons, years & decades to come.

 

all advertising campaign content sourced by glossynewsstand

ELISE CROMBEZ FOR THEYSKENS’ THEORY

as a creative force that i respect & admire, olivier theyskens segues into the campaign sector for the fall/winter 2012 season. cast as the brands face for the fall is DNA model management’s elise crombez. following my meghan collison for proenza post, crombez also shared casting credits with collison last season for the house of prada. lovely to see elise gaining greater model traction in the form of landing a solo campaign for a on-the-rise brand like theyskens’ theory. while the clothes are almost hidden through the campaigns dark direction, the overall execution of the campaign is so accurate to theyskens’ own presence on the runway. the way the light is in soft focus, the contorted poses from the backseat of a car- it’s beautiful. beautiful not in the commercialized or expected sense, but beautiful in that it’s interesting.

one aspect i completely respect of theyskens is his ability to remain true to himself, his ability to act in complete faith of his creative vision. if you look at the archived work during his tenure at the house of nina ricci, you see similar silhouettes which are visible in his work at theory. if you go back even further to his remarkable work at the rochas, you’ll come away thinking of fashion in a new light. theyskens served as artistic director for fashion label, the rochas from 2002 to his discontinuation in 2006. within that 4 year period, he completely reinvented the label; supplying them with celebrity clientele in the form of nicole kidman, jennifer aniston, kirsten dunst, kate bosworth, jennifer lopez & sarah jessica parker. his work was praised by fashion critics as he was awarded the international style award by the council of fashion designers of america (CFDA) in 2006. after the announcement of the houses closure, many were left shocked. at that time, fashion had begun to take on a new format. it was rapdily becoming more & more about business and figures, less about creativity. theyskens was fearless in his approach in many forms with his work with the rochas. he was noted for not relying on the sale of accessories or lower priced diffusion collections in order to bring in big bucks, which many big labels aim their focus in today’s fashion industry. in fact, some of his designs were considered somewhere between ready-to-wear and couture, which is referred to as ‘demicouture‘. with dresses ranging upwards of $20k while at the rochas, one would wonder how profitable truly high end designs are when the middle market is completely ignored. theyskens was fearless enough to try it.

shortly after the discontinuation of the rochas fashion division, theyskens landed in an artistic directing role at the house of nina ricci, which he flourished in from 2006-2009, when he left the label. speculation pointed the finger at higher ups at ricci for the reason theyskens departed. the designs olivier had created with the house were reportedly the source of creative differences which ultimately resulted in his exiting of the house. as short as his stint at nina ricci was, theyskens was praised for his approach which aimed at a younger demographic & his fall 2009 collection for the house was among the most visible in fashion editorial, being seen in every glossy around the globe. his departure was quite the conversational piece in the world of high fashion & was extremely dissapointing seeing as the house of nina ricci needed a new design direction. shortly after his exit at ricci, theyskens’ next design home was being speculated by fashion news outlets around the internet. in 2011, it was announced that theory chief executive officer, andrew rosen had contracted theyskens to create what we now know as theyskens theory, hence the campaign we see above. the capsule collection soon followed an announcement by theory that theyskens was being installed as the brand’s artistic director, a home which has seemed to be working well for him. this FW12 collection reminds me a lot of theyskens’ spring 2009 collection which he designed while at the house of nina ricci. granted the aesthetic is much darker for the fall, the use of textile & the mindful modernization of silhouette is ever present. i’ve had my eye on the theyskens very closely, waiting for him to find a creative home where he is able to flourish and it seems like theory is just that.

 

all advertising campaign content sourced by glossynewsstand

MEGHAN COLLISON FOR PROENZA SCHOULER

innovation down to thread, proenza schouler is the epitome of modern style in the american fashion realm. who better to serve as the brand’s face in the lane modern style than meghan collison of next models ny? through the lens of alasdair meclellan, with styling my marie chaix meghan completely embodies the downtown cool proenza. with hair & make-up by paul hanlon & diane kendal, collison stuns with slightly undone hair, casual chic presence all set to a greyscaled theme. from the satin brocade dresses to the incredibly chic kimono-weaved-karate coats, this collection was identified as one of my favorite fall collections of the coming season. ultra-hip, stylistically fresh & powerfully detailed, the collection is one that represents the potential of american fashion for the future. i’ve always been fascinated by meghan’s look, considering the range of beauty that is now showcased in the world of high fashion. i am naturally drawn to natural beauty, but recognize that fashion is more about what men & women can be transformed into in these days. models are expected to serve as interesting, rather than looking natural. interesting is, well, an interesting word to use when thinking of models on the scene today and through the 2000′s. language is powerful in every sense, it really shapes your level of understanding.

models today are described as interesting, but from a societal sense might be seen as odd or even ugly outside of fashion. in the golden era of modeling during the 90′s, models were born with naturally, extraordinary physical beauty. with the emergence and greater utilization of cosmetic surgery by men and women alike; the definition of natural has even been questioned when speaking on physical beauty or features you’re born with. what i find so beautiful of meghan collison is that she is a unique combination of natural beauty & those interesting features that have become so greatly in demand in high fashion. that hybrid combination of classic beauty with modern forms of beauty is what meghan exemplifies, which is truly beautiful. there couldn’t have been a more perfect face to fit the ultra-cool of proenza schouler & this campaign is among my favorites this season. included last season among the cast of prada’s spring campaign, collison continues her upward climb with this campaign and another campaign booking this season with moncler. with show season rapidly approaching, meghan will be scratching a few catwalks.

all advertising campaign content sourced by glossynewsstand

JOAN SMALLS FOR FENDI

as a favorite face of mine, joan smalls continues to redefine what it means to be a supermodel in today’s competitive world of modeling. as the new face of fendi for the fall 2012 season, smalls’ image and visibility are at an all-time high. last season, smalls was joined by model, saskia de brauw for the prestigious chanel campaign & continues to serve as a favorite of karl lagerfeld appearing for fendi. both chanel & fendi are labels under lagerfeld’s creative guidance as director and those who know anything of high fashion will agree, karl spares no opportunity to give his favorites shine. a favorite across the board, smalls is a regular in the pages of american vogue as well. with recognition from both lagerfeld and wintour, two of fashion’s most powerful figures, it’s very likely that joan could completely alter the landscape for other women of color in the lane of high fashion. with no end in sight & popularity that seems to grow with each season, magazine cover and campaign, i am extremely excited to see the success that joan has been able to attain as a model with undeniable presence. stunning as ever, though not her best, joan continues to slay.

aesthetically, the campaign is not one of fendi’s greatest, but the presence of joan is a statement in itself. i have questioned the ability of karl lagerfeld as a photographer, considering the number of tremendously talented photographers that don’t get the opportunity to work with chanel or fendi, considering his hogging of that opportunity. that said, karl- i have additional respect for you considering the number of opportunities you have allowed joan to shine. congratulations to joan and her unstoppable agent over at IMG. myself and the readers of jeremydante.com have long supported joan and applaud her striking performance.

all advertising campaign content sourced by glossynewsstand

THE FALL BALENCIAGA CAMPAIGN

WHAT YO’ NAME IZ? linn arvidsson, julier bugge, hirschy hirschefelder,
juliet ingleby, anniek kortleve, rosie tapner

steven meisel delivers the fall balenciaga aesthetic on a windswept sandy shore this campaign season. as one of the most interesting labels to watch, i loved this collection & praised it as one my top 10 best last fall. much like my commentary on the valentino campaign, i would’ve absolutely loved to see more faces of color in this campaign. as one of the coolest collections this fall, it seems as though the ultra-hip, intergalactic direction of the fall season at balenciaga is being contrasted to a much more classical backdrop. nautical? not exactly. refreshing? not really. confusing? uhh, yeah. one thing that i cant stand is a confusing campaign. especially when the actual collection covers all bases of chic & innovation. i have long appreciated the current era of balenciaga, which has been created in the vision of nicolas ghesquière. as the label’s creative director, ghesquière has seamlessly fused the necessary modernization while preserving the legacy of the historic french fashion house. ghesquière has an incredible ability to take some of the houses most creative elements & re-introducing them to today’s fashion market.

this collection, for the fall, was like new age office wardrobe with galactic, teenage sweaters. delicate but powerful through design details, the campaign encompasses all of the collections most vivid looks. most feminine was the use of sheer, which completely blew the rest of the seasonal trends out of the water. as irresistable as they are, those space age sweaters make their expected cameo as well as the backdrop serves as a fitting contrast when you really close in on the entire advertising image set as a whole. the way the collection harps on silhouette is well captured in the campaign, as the uneven fencing seems to mimic the mind warp of feminine shapes that were presented. as one of the strongest labels in terms of sales & statistics- the house of balenciaga has successfully changed the format of what beauty is in a high end setting. the ways in which fashion as an industry is promoting beauty, is heavily based on what we can simply define as awkward. though awkward & likely with intent, i still feel that a much more commercialized framing of beauty could’ve been projected better through imagery. though i understand the angle of beauty looking to be represented between models & clothes, i definitely had envisioned something much more progressive rather than mind dulling. this campaign does not do the collection justice, by any means. while it serves it’s purpose, it does so through mediocrity.

all advertising campaign content sourced by glossynewsstand

THE FALL VALENTINO CAMPAIGN


WHAT YO’ NAME IZ? caroline brasch nielsen, frida gustavsson, jac jagaciak

shot by deborah turbeville, the house of valentino continues their push to become a greater threat of competition for other labels in the luxury sector. as one of my absolute favorite labels hailing from milan, i love that the modernization & classicality of design that is felt in the house of valentino’s collections is accurately translated through image. i greatly admire the decesion to once again go with turberville. debroah turbeville also shot last season’s valentino campaign & is a particularly interesting choice, given the fashion markets saturated presence of campaigns by steven meisel, inez + vinoodh & the gold standard of fashion photography at the moment, mert alas + marcus piggott. turbeville seems to capture the new school aesthetic of valentino perfectly. the models appear poised & the clothes elegant while an air of darkness is also felt. from the intricately ornamented walls & gold details, the backdrop of the campaign serves beautifully as a complimentary element to the somewhat subtle set of advertising images.

each model seen is allowed their time to shine while the cast softly blends through greater anatomic cohesion. while i will say that the addition of more ethnic female models would’ve been much more beautiful, i understand the aesthetic though i may not completely agree with how ‘beauty’ is being represented. i will say, while i love the presentation of valentino’s shows, collections & notice the power of good casting for all these elements- i do feel that in the next few seasons, a change will be necessary. the floral accents, the sheer- it’s nice, but can become dull in comparison to other labels. while it may not be suitable to compare labels & aesthetics- that’s what fashion is all about, surpassing or out-styling, out-designing that of your competitors. while i admire the romanticism, i would like a remix. something more modern rather than classic. not to say im looking for something too far beyond classic, i understand this is a part of the brand’s DNA, but still. there is a way that other labels have infused modernizm with their distinct branding identity in such a way that has ushered in a greater, much more unstoppable approach to creating a style that allows a label to advance into the future. this, i feel, is necessary for labels to do in order to remain competitive in the market. that said, this aesthetic has been well represented, as it relates to the house of valentino & it’s history. i look forward to the upcoming spring show season for womenswear & greatly admired the label’s spring menswear as well as their couture collection. i hope they serve up the same modern but minimal aesthetic for their womenswear collections come september.

all advertising campaign content sourced by glossynewsstand