MILAN — You can almost reach out and touch the clothes. As for those exotic location shoots, well, maybe next season.
Italian designers are banking on the solidity of their products to counter a feeling of economic uncertainty. As a result, their ad campaigns for fall-winter 2002 are clearly product-driven, with a focus on details and materials. For the most part, Italian ad budgets are flat for fall, although, as reported, Versace plans sharp cuts in its typically generous budget in the fourth quarter, cutting it in half to about $3.5 million, said sources. Its third quarter ad budget was flat. Despite the conservative mood, there’s no indication yet the other Italian houses are ready to cut as deeply as Versace. And a few are actually spending more: Dolce & Gabbana is getting aggressive and hiking its budget in Japan, while Giorgio Armani has increased its budget by 5 percent.
On the creative front, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino chose group photos, offering an expanded view of their collections. And in a more practical mood, most skipped the exotic locales this time and shot at home or in a studio.
Steven Meisel elaborated Miuccia Prada’s take on sexy — Amber Valletta lounging in a silk pleated dress or focusing on a back-view of a body-hugging pencil skirt and crocodile stiletto boots.
For Dolce & Gabbana, Meisel shot Gisele Bündchen surrounded by young men watching her in various states of awe and surprise. Stefano Gabbana said they "imagined a beautiful young woman returning to her home town in Sicily." The photos, however, were shot practically a planet away from Sicily — in California.
For Valentino, Meisel shot models Anouck, Jacquetta Wheeler, Bridget Hall, Michele Alves, Caroline Ribeiro, Karen Elson, Erin Wasson and Raquel Zimmerman in groups of six, where, in turn, each is the protagonist. The groups are arranged by themes, such as gold, black and accessories.
"The clothes really stand out in all of our lines’ campaigns," said Robert Triefus, Armani Group’s corporate vice president of worldwide communications. "In the world post Sept. 11, people are looking for items that last, with real value and integrity, style and quality," said Triefus. After several seasons with Peter Lindbergh, for fall, Giorgio Armani asked Paolo Roversi, known for his sepia-colored images, to shoot the ads for his Borgonuovo collection. "This was the aviator style collection and Mr. Armani thought Roversi would bring to life the Amelia Earhart, Thirties’ spirit of that look with a contemporary touch," said Triefus. Two new models, Natasha Vojnovic and Josh Wald, were photographed at Armani’s theater in Via Bergognone.Armani Collezioni was also shot at the theater by Aldo Fallai. "Mr. Armani is a practical man, and he’s noticed that often people spend too much on travel when it’s easy to create the scene you want in your backyard," said Triefus.
He added that the company continues to "evolve the media mix" in tune with the current climate, advertising in The Economist, Spectator, Forbes, Fortune and the New Yorker, as well as fashion magazines.
Emporio Armani, shot by Richard Phibbs in a Milan warehouse, shows group images.
There will be an eight-page insert in the New York Times Magazine and a six-page insert in the Los Angeles Times in September. The ads will be repeated in November. Armani planned 2,000 pages for the fall-winter campaign, up 5 percent from last year.
Both Gucci and Gianfranco Ferré focused on the details of the clothes, as well. While Michel Comte shot Esther Cañadas and Michel Del Monte against the background of opulent and luxurious settings, Gucci’s creative director Tom Ford said he wanted "a more intimate mood." Models Eugenia Volodina and Natalia Vodianova were photographed in a warehouse by Mario Testino. "This season, the mood is still strong and powerful, but the atmosphere is more relaxed and sensual," said Ford.
For Missoni, Gisele Bündchen dons colorful patchwork coats and caps for a "romantic and dreamy woman," said Angela Missoni. Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot shot the Missoni campaign for the third time.
Alas and Piggot also shot the Fendi campaign, with a self-assured Rie Rasmussen. Lights and styling are strong and emphatic."
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)