MILAN — There’s a deeper concept behind Alessandra Facchinetti’s first Valentino ad campaign than just a pretty picture. Shot by Peter Lindbergh in Paris, the fall images embody the designer’s vision for the fashion house.

Eager for a clean break, Facchinetti opted for what she calls a “groupage,” or several images conceived to run together in multiples of two, from a minimum of four to a total of eight. The idea is to tell a story and to better display the world of Valentino, from men’s and women’s wear to eyewear and accessories.

The grouping includes a mix of studio and location shots, in both color and black-and-white.

The campaign breaks worldwide in July issues of fashion titles. “I wanted to move away from the cliché of pure luxury to focus on a modern and elegant campaign and a dynamic woman who gets around. It’s a starting point for us and offers the world of Valentino at 360 degrees,” said Facchinetti.

To portray that world, Facchinetti turned to Lindberg for his first Valentino project. “I really like the intimacy of his photos and how he captures a look in a fraction of a second. His photos transmit movement,” she said.

Lindberg shot models Angela Lindvall, Isabeli Fontana and Taylor Fuchs in Paris between Place Vendôme and Place de la Concorde. “I wanted to further emphasize Valentino’s ties with Paris, a city that has given and hopefully will continue to give a lot to Valentino,” said Facchinetti.

Though reticent to discuss the ad budget, Stefano Sassi, chairman and chief executive officer of the Valentino brand, said it represents a 50 percent increase versus last year’s fall campaign. He added that about 10 percent of the brand’s $381 million sales is invested in communications projects, including events, runway shows and ad pages.

Sharing the set with Facchinetti were accessories directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. The presence of the two Rome-based designers further demonstrates the importance of the category. Two lavish bags, described as “emotional” by the duo, appear in the campaign.

Over the last decade, Chiuri and Piccioli have slowly grown the accessories business and over the next five years Sassi wants to increase the category’s sales, which currently total 50 million euros, or $78 million at current exchange. The accessories are carried in 118 Valentino boutiques plus 320 points of sale.

This story first appeared in the May 30, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The idea behind the new, post-Valentino design structure that also includes Ferruccio Pozzoni at the helm of men’s wear is having the various creative directors share the limelight. Piccioli and Chiuri joined Valentino in 1999 after a prolific tenure at Fendi, where they are credited with having masterminded the Baguette bag.

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