HAPPY DANCE: Sweden’s Happy Socks enlisted David LaChapelle to shoot its upcoming fall-holiday marketing campaign, which will break at the end of this month. The result is a vivid portfolio of male and female dancers donning Happy Socks — and little else — as they high-kick and grand jeté on location in downtown Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. The playful, PG-13 images will be unveiled on the Happy Socks e-commerce site, its social media platforms and in the brand’s nine stores in the U.S., Europe and Asia. There are 14 additional pop-up shops that will be open Nov. 1 through the holidays around the world.
“It was really about the form of the dancers themselves, who star in the pictures, and the idea of the colorful socks and colorful backgrounds — and the happy feeling in the air,” said LaChapelle of the cheery, flesh-baring shots. The photographer has a long fascination with dance, having directed the 2005 krumping documentary “Rize.”
Concurrent to the print visuals, LaChapelle created a campy, kooky short film, based very loosely on “The Red Shoes,” with collaborator and choreographer John Byrne. In the nine-minute tale, titled “Happy Accidents,” actress Katie Johnson plays a hooker possessed with an irresistible urge to dance, while her real-life mother, Melody Johnson, harangues her to return to the world’s oldest profession, played out in Mandarin, no less. Happy Socks are worn throughout the surreal story, including on Katie’s legs when they are severed by a train — which doesn’t necessarily preclude a happy ending to the story. It can be viewed beginning Oct. 31 on happysocks.com.
Apart from Happy Socks, LaChapelle this fall shot a campaign called “Pop Touch” for Tod’s and the campaign for Nicki Minaj’s new Minajesty fragrance.
Looking beyond feet, Happy Socks is expanding this season with a capsule collection of whimsical iPhone covers, leather wallets, computer sleeves, tote bags and even a colorful, custom Rolex watch, priced at 6,999 euros, or $9,494.14 at current exchange, 12 of which will be sold at Happy Socks retail stores.