MILAN — Supermodels as icons of stability? In the world of Donatella Versace they are.
This story first appeared in the July 9, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Versace has revived the supermodel for her fall campaign, after seasons of ads focusing on high-powered, glamorous lifestyles. The campaign focuses on Linda Evangelista and Amber Valletta and is all about the clothes rather than lifestyle.
“With this campaign, I wanted to give a real message: These girls exude stability, which I think is important in uncertain times,” said Versace. “This collection is based on cuts, proportions and color, so the campaign is less shocking, with the focus on the clothes.”
Shot once again by Steven Meisel at the Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, the mood of the campaign balances Eighties aggressiveness with Nineties minimalism. The no-tricks setting has dark wood floors and a white wall splashed with the Versace logo in black block letters. The only prop: A white, graphic wooden chair. “In this moment, I wanted to portray a strong, self-assured woman who knows what she wants,” the designer said. “Aside from a top model, Linda is an intelligent business woman and Amber, who was a waif when I first met her, is now a mom.”
Versace also likes the fact that both are not doll-perfect beauties and have penetrating looks. “Both Steven and I told them to be themselves, not to act,” she said.
For fall, the Versus campaign, also shot in Los Angeles, takes to the streets. Inspired by American youth who hang out on the streets dancing to their boom boxes, the reportage-style campaign is packed with energy.
“We simply asked the models to be themselves and to dance to the music,” said Versace. The clothes are mixed-and-matched in a funky-yet-sophisticated manner. “The same pant was used in three images, just worn with different clothes.”
Versace is pouring 7 percent of last year’s $454 million sales into advertising for both labels.
The campaigns will run in magazines, including Vogue, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, W, Interview, Número, In Style and Flaunt, as well as on billboards.