MAKING MUSIC: Mercedes-Benz Fashion has tapped musicians M.I.A. and the female Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis for the company’s new campaign concept called #mbcollective, WWD has learned.
In an effort to move away from its traditional ad formats, the company has adopted a seasonless style with a focus on print, digital and social media including video, and hosting events. The Generation Now, Generation Next, #mbcollective fashion story has been divided into three chapters and features three stars alongside their protégés.
“In a new move for the brand, we wanted to tell a story, about Generation Now and Generation Next,” said Bettina Haussmann, head of branded entertainment Mercedes-Benz Cars. “It’s a story that also introduces the new #mbcollective. Therefore, we invited established talent from the worlds of music, film and fashion and to choose a protégé they believe in and support.”
She said chapter one of the fashion story features M.I.A., whose real name is Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, and the emerging Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis. It is the story of a relationship and its different stages, showcasing the connection between two people and the Concept EQ show car. “As in a relationship, society also needs to build up trust into electromobility. The focus of the story is therefore not the car, but the growing relationship of the talents and their protégés,” she said.
“M.I.A. was chosen for her work as an internationally known award-winning recording artist, director, visual artist, designer and model and as an active philanthropist. M.I.A. is a great supporter of female emerging talent, specifically, within the music industry. She wants to support and pave the way for more female artists.”
Arulpragasam is pictured wearing an Anna October coat, Xiao Li pants, a sequin top trousers and coat by William Fan, and a top and skirt by Ran Fan. Tommy Genesis, who was recently signed by Awful Records, is seen wearing a top and skirt by Ran Fan.
The first installment was shot by photographer, writer and filmmaker Luke Gilford. He splits his time between Los Angeles and New York and has worked on films in the past including “The Future of Flesh,” a short film featuring Prada’s fall 2013 collection. He has also collaborated with Maison Martin Margiela and Proenza Schouler.
The segments were filmed in Wright Ranch, a 24-acre compound in Santa Monica, Calif. Each edition was styled by Clare Byrne and will feature looks from designers including Ukrainian designer Anna October and Berlin-based unisex label William Fan. London-based designers include Xiao Li, Ran Fan and Steven Tai.
Alongside the print campaign, the musicians will be featured in a short film, which will be released on Mercedes-Benz Fashion’s social media channels.