ROCKET MEN: Galeries Lafayette has named Toilet Paper founders Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari as artistic directors of its 2017 advertising campaigns, marking a new chapter in the revamp of its visual identity.
The experimental art magazine’s first two images for the French retailer were set to break todayin an outdoor, print and digital campaign. Featuring a male and female superhero-meets-human cannonball, they mark the department store chain’s first Sunday opening under a French law granting exemptions for stores in designated international tourist zones.
The partnership follows a previous collaboration last summer, when Toilet Paper created 11 window displays for the Galeries Lafayette flagship on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. An installation under the store’s historic cupola featured a giant blow-up Eiffel Tower with suggestively positioned egg-shaped appendages.
Guillaume Houzé, director of image and patronage at Galeries Lafayette, said Cattelan and Ferrari would produce around 10 campaigns for the store over the course of the year. Each will include an animated GIF and specific content for Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.
“They totally share the values of the Galeries Lafayette brand,” he said. “Toilet Paper is creative, bold and cheeky. It’s bubbly, cheerful and it doesn’t really take itself seriously.”
The initiative is part of the retailer’s ongoing commitment to supporting contemporary art, as it gears up to open its Galeries Lafayette Foundation headquarters to the public later this year.
Galeries Lafayette in 2014 parted ways with photographer Jean-Paul Goude, who had shot its advertising campaigns since 2000, producing memorable images featuring personalities including Jean Paul Gaultier and Pedro Almodóvar.
The following year it unveiled a new logo, created by Paris-based creative agency BETC, and advertising visuals designed by global creative agency Wednesday, which will work with Toilet Paper on the retailer’s campaigns.
Houzé said the ads aimed to be uplifting at a time when department stores are struggling with morose domestic demand and a sharp drop in tourism in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks. “Our role is to breathe life into the city, and Toilet Paper will help us to achieve that,” he said.
Galeries Lafayette has forecast that opening 52 Sundays a year will create 1,000 jobs at the Paris flagship alone and help the group achieve a 5 percent to 7 percent increase in revenues.
Toilet Paper previously created campaigns for French fashion house Kenzo. Cattelan revealed five years that he was retiring from the art world, but made a comeback this year with a major exhibition at the Paris Mint.