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Amsterdam-based denim label G-Star Raw is abandoning models for its spring advertising campaign, opting instead for actors to show off its wares.
This story first appeared in the December 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The label tapped Dutch director and photographer Anton Corbijn — who won plaudits for his 2007 biopic “Control” about Joy Division’s Ian Curtis — to shoot actors Toby Kebbell and Alexandra Maria Lara for the label’s spring ads.
“I guess we’ve grown up with 20 years of Anton’s iconic rock imagery,” said Shubhankar Ray, global brand director at G-Star Raw, referring to Corbijn’s gritty editorial shots of musicians such as David Bowie, Elvis Costello and U2. “We’d had some thoughts about moving the campaign on, and the collaboration with Anton…allowed the transition from shooting models in a studio [to using actors.] The fact is they’re not models, so there’s a little bit more character there.” Indeed, Corbijn already had a rapport with Kebbell and Lara, who both had major roles in “Control.”
Ray said that in keeping with G-Star’s “just the product” mantra, Corbijn shot Kebbell and Lara outdoors, against the background of a rugged concrete wall in southern Spain. While Romanian-born Lara wears looks such as slouchy, distressed denim jeans with a white T-shirt in one shot and a tailored denim trench in another, Brit Kebbell sports dark denim blazers and drainpipe jeans.
The campaign will break in the February issues of magazines including V, i-D, Nylon, Dazed and Confused, French Vogue, and the U.K. editions of Elle, GQ and Esquire. The brand will also run a series of guerrilla campaigns in train stations in Berlin and Copenhagen and at a location in New York, as part of which G-Star Raw will display life-size campaign posters on the locations’ walls and floors. Clips of the making of the campaign will appear on G-Star’s Web site.
Ray declined to disclose the campaign’s budget but said that its media investment is in line with its previous season’s placements. Ray added he hoped the collaboration with Corbijn will last more than one season.