With his company’s fifth anniversary approaching, Nepal-born, NYC-based design darling Prabal Gurung has revealed that he has not only mastered his aesthetic (stocking at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Kirna Zabete, and a handful of retailers worldwide) but he has also developed the ability to communicate with a larger audience, something that is absolutely essential nowadays in fashion and beyond. Today, he released his Fall/Winter 2014 ad campaign (see in its entirely after the break below), the second-ever print ad for his eponymous label. The first came this January, shot by Daniel Jackson, styled by Gurung's longtime collaborator Tina Laakkonen, and featuring model Liya Kebede. Much like they did in anticipation of the launch of his Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, Gurung's team took to social media (namely, Instagram and Twitter) to share teasers with the brand's fans (us included), who have been eagerly awaiting its official launch.
Prompted by a handful of puzzle piece-like photos (one of the model's neck, another of her cheek, her eyes, etc.), fans have flocked to the brand's Instagram page to share their guesses as to who the campaign's star is. The brand did announce, after all, that it is awarding the first three individuals who guessed correctly a piece from the designer's Fall/Winter 2014 collection, a contest it announced on Instagram. Gurung, who is still quite a young designer, certainly knows how to engage his audience and the F/W ad campaign release (and his select collaboration collections) clearly demonstrates this.
Shot by Daniel Jackson against a mountain-esque set designed by Gerard Santos, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley took on the role of "an international luxe traveler, albeit a well-grounded one," per WWD. Noting that the backdrop was built, not Photoshopped, Gurung said this season’s headliner also has an authentic appeal. Having known Huntington-Whiteley since his days at Bill Blass, when former creative director Michael Vollbracht cast her in a runway show, Gurung has kept an eye on her carer. “I’ve seen her progression and how she’s moved on,” he said. “What I like is that she hasn’t limited herself to being just a model. There is a factor about her that she wants to try — she wants to go for it — and I like that.”
In terms of engaging the fashion crowd, Gurung is doing quite well. He has taken the industry by storm since first appearing in Vogue in 2009, with his clever hand at draping, comprehension of graphic color, and a boldness that is both sophisticated and sexy. Oprah covered her magazine in one of Gurung's dresses in late 2009. He received the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award, along with its $25,000 prize, in 2010. He was named one of FGI’s Rising Star finalists that same year. In terms of the Council of Fashion Designers of America alone, he was chosen as one of the twelve inaugural designers for the Fashion Incubator initiative, was named runner-up for the 2010 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize, and was nominated for the 2010 CFDA Swarovski Womenswear Award.
Saying he has always "wanted the clothes to speak for themselves," Gurung has won over the hearts of everyone from Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton to an array of Hollywood starlets (think: Rooney Mara, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, Lady Gaga and Emma Watson - just to name a few) with his designs. And in case that is not enough, he has become a favorite of average consumers, as well. He launched a limited-edition collaboration with Target in February 2013, which sold out in nearly one day and subsequently helped boost Target’s stock by 15 percent. More to come from Prabal, including a holiday collection with MAC Cosmetics …