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."
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.