In her first full collection as Candie’s creative director, Sarah Hyland is making her mark with Ellen von Unwerth’s camera and eclectic designs of hummingbirds, pineapples and her own dog.
Less than a year after being named to that position at the label owned by Iconix Brand Group, the 26-year-old actress is infusing her personal style in a playful spring collection. The line includes a reversible bomber jacket, chevron-print minidress and pinstriped blouse that falls off the shoulder and will be sold exclusively at Kohl’s. While the “Modern Family” actress made her debut in last fall’s ad campaign, she took a more active role in spearheading the spring campaign that launches today.
“The last year as the creative director of Candie’s has been a crazy experience and so much fun, but something that I take very seriously,” she said. “I am not going to put my name to something that I don’t like and fully support, and I really believe in this brand and love the clothes. I wear Candie’s all the time and it is special that the new collection for spring has a little bit of me in everything.”
Inspired by the trips she’s taken to Europe when on hiatus from her popular TV show, she selected a seaside villa in Santa Monica, Calif., as a bright, colorful backdrop. She also tapped Ellen von Unwerth to snap images of her lounging on a giant swan float, posing coyly with sunglasses against a pastel-tinted wall, playing with flowers in a garden nook and striding confidently in a flowing floral frock. This is the first time that von Unwerth, who’s photographed ingenues for Guess, G-Star Raw, Miu Miu, Chanel and other brands, worked with one of Iconix’s numerous properties.
“Ellen is so talented and has a bold eye, and that’s something I wanted to bring to the campaign for spring,” Hyland said. “She is a ball of energy and had me laughing, climbing in trees and having so much fun on set all day.”
Hyland also highlighted jeans embroidered with an image of a hummingbird, which mirrors a tattoo inked behind her right ear, a black-and-white reminder of an important time in her life when she stood up for herself.
“It was very important to me to communicate that sense of empowerment through the clothes so every girl can share that feeling,” said Hyland, who is a survivor of an abusive relationship.
“The spring ad campaign is really Sarah owning her role as creative director,” said Preeti Singh, senior director of women’s marketing at Iconix.
In contrast to the fall campaign, which included a print ad in Cosmopolitan as well as digital displays on the magazine’s web site, Refinery 29 and Who What Wear, Candie’s is bypassing print ads altogether this time. Instead, it’s looking to make a push on the web and social media, particularly Instagram and Snapchat.
Besides, Hyland noted, “it has been really, really great to see people’s tweets and Instagram photos that they’ve sent me wearing clothing from the fall ’16 Candie’s collection.”
In addition to the hummingbird, she also suggested the rose gold zipper that seals the bomber jacket. After including her dog, Barkley, in last season’s campaign, she made him the muse for a set of pins. Then there are pineapples simply because “she loves pineapples,” said Katie Reeves, Iconix’s vice president of women’s brand management.
After all, through working with Candie’s, “my eye is drawn to the details in clothing that I may not have actually noticed before,” Hyland said. “Little things like touches of embroidery, rose gold hardware and removable pins can make a basic top or jumper so much more interesting and personal. I have a pretty eclectic style, so I’m a big fan of creative add-ons so I can show my personality through what I wear.”