Valentina Sampaio fronts the Borsalino fall 2019 ad campaign.

Borsalino’s new course is well afoot.

A year after its new owner, private equity group Haeres Equita, took full control of the Alessandria, Italy-based hatmaker, the company is unveiling an ad campaign for fall fronted by a cast of young and diverse faces that includes transgender model Valentina Sampaio.

Lensed by Italian photographer Joseph Cardo, the images blend photography with painting as hand-painted floral motifs are superimposed onto the pictures.

Models were captured in relaxed poses against a lacquered red door and raw canvases. In particular, Sampaio sits on a stool, sporting a distinctly Parisian outfit to match a blue bowler hat. The 22-year-old Brazilian model and actress has been in the news as of late after she was reportedly hired by Victoria’s Secret, drawing a strong, positive reaction on social media.

Other talents include German model Franzi Mueller, Seoul-native J Moon and U.S.-based Allen Haygood, among others.

A picture from the Borsalino fall 2019 ad campaign.

A picture from the Borsalino fall 2019 ad campaign. 

The campaign was art directed by Giacomo Santucci, a fashion veteran and former Gucci executive, who’s a member of Borsalino’s steering committee and serves as the brand’s creative curator.

“My intention when it comes to photography is to elevate the medium to the level of other art forms,” Santucci said. “Painting interacts with photography to a modern, artistic and 3-D, sculpture-like effect like a pop synthesis.” Santucci noted the images are aimed at telegraphing the company’s link with nature and craftsmanship, as well as “quality and beauty in their timeless dimension.”

The campaign will be previewed at each of the 10 monobrand stores, as well as on the label’s social network channels starting Sept. 3.

Last July, in the wake of the acquisition, Haeres Equita executive chairman Philippe Camperio said, referring to the brand, that “the goal is wake it up and shake it.” Winning the auction set up by the label’s administrators through a deal valued at 6.4 million euros, the private equity firm ended the troubled journey that started in December 2015 when it first took over the hatmaker, which had been hit by financial problems following the arrest of previous owner Marco Marenco for fraudulent bankruptcy and tax evasion related to a web of holdings.

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