THE REAL DEAL: Alber Elbaz is keeping it real for Lanvin’s fall advertising campaign. Rather than models of the moment, Elbaz went for real women and men, ranging in age from 18 to 80.

The human panorama, captured by photographer Steven Meisel in New York, ranges from regal to punkish — and there’s even a fluffy white pooch amid a jumble of shoes and handbags strewn about an apartmentlike setting. Creative direction was by Ronnie Cooke Newhouse and Stephen Wolstenholme of House + Holme.

This story first appeared in the July 18, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“I was interested to bring these clothes back to the street somehow, and seeing how they look on different ages, different sizes,” Elbaz told WWD. “It felt like a crazy family, and I like that.”


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On the set, the designer soaked up each individual’s story. The cast of characters included a waiter, a milliner and a recent U.S. immigrant. The eldest participant related that it was her dream at age 18 to come to Paris and be a model, “but she was a showgirl at the Apollo,” Elbaz related, delighted to make her dream come true at last. “There was something very democratic about the approach,” he noted.

The men’s and women’s campaigns are slated to break in September issues in France, the U.S., Italy, Great Britain, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Russia and Brazil, with women’s-only spots running in Germany, Spain, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Middle East.

Lanvin noted advertising budgets are flat versus the previous fall season, with increases allocated to the burgeoning Asia region. The brand plans to release a viral video on the Internet on Aug. 21, based on the filming of the campaign’s newly minted stars.

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