PARIS — After “Black Swan,” actor Vincent Cassel and director Darren Aronofsky joined creative forces again on a short film to advertise La Nuit de L’Homme, the Yves Saint Laurent men’s fragrance.
Cassel, who was featured in the scent’s first campaign for about two years, suggested Aronofsky for the new ad, which is due to break in late March.
When thinking of signing on to a movie project, Cassel first considers its director.
“I need a director that has to be a bit fascinating to me,” said Cassel, adding he’d seen everything Aronofsky had shot. “And I always thought he was one of the best of his generation.”
Cassel was also attracted to the idea of working with Natalie Portman. And the movie project allowed him to get back to his dancer roots.
“I have always been really physical in my training, so whether it was martial arts or ballet or acrobatics — I mean, literally, name it, I’ve done it at least for a month,” said Cassel.
He called his character in “Black Swan,” ballet artistic director Thomas Leroy, “a bit of a jerk, but he has a purpose.”
La Nuit de L’Homme is YSL’s best-selling men’s scent overall.
“We want to develop this fragrance as a classic of the house, and this story of seduction — subversive seduction — which is very Yves Saint Laurent, embodied by Vincent Cassel, is a story that we wanted to continue to enrich,” said Renaud de Lesquen, president of YSL and designer brands at L’Oréal.
“We met with Darren and explained to him that we would love to reinforce the interaction between a man and several women [that also figures in the first La Nuit de L’Homme ad],” said Nathalie Durán, YSL deputy general manager.
Aronofsky returned with a script inspired by Søren Kierkegaard’s “The Seducer’s Diary.” It features a man seducing — rather than consuming —women.
“We liked it because it’s at the same time La Nuit de L’Homme and La Nuit de Femme,” continued Durán. “The woman in the Saint Laurent world is absolutely free as an authority on her life, so can’t become a prey just for the sake of talking about seduction.”
The ad, which took three full days to shoot in five Parisian locations in mid-December, revolves around the idea of Cassel playing a character who, in the course of one night, goes to numerous milieus and each time he’s involved in a game of seduction with a woman.
“There is a matryoshka effect in the film; it’s almost a thriller, a thriller of seduction,” said Durán.
There will be a five-minute version for the Internet and more classical formats destined for TV and movie theaters. The campaign is to break starting at the end of March and in early April in countries such as France, Italy and Germany. The U.S. is to get it in the second quarter of this year and the U.K. in June.
Along with La Nuit de L’Homme’s film will be a print campaign shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
Cassel found little difference in working with Aronofsky on the YSL ad than on “Black Swan.”
“He does as many takes on a commercial as on the set,” said Cassel, adding that being the face of a fragrance differs somewhat from being a character in a film.
“It is another role, but at the same time…when [people] see a movie, they think, ‘Oh, it’s a character.’ When they see an ad, they say, ‘Oh, it’s him,’ ” said Cassel. “But it’s not.”
Fashionwise, he sports streetwear mostly and has a penchant for the Homecore brand. On the more classical front, Cassel wears Armani, Lanvin and Saint Laurent. Signing on to the latter brand’s fragrance campaign was a natural fit.
“Yves Saint Laurent is very Paris,” said Cassel. “Yves Saint Laurent to me is like the guy I used to see at the Palace, at the Bain Douche, when I was 17. He was the guy who was the first designer to use a black model on the catwalk and all these things. So, you know, it’s a cool identity to be the face of something like that.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)