An increasing number of collections that are presented annually means an influx in corresponding ad campaigns. In fact, there are arguably so many fashion advertisements out there at any given time that it can be quite a task to keep track of them all. With that in mind, as the year comes to a close, here are some of the most noteworthy fashion campaigns of 2015 – from ones that utilize the most obvious stunt casting to the campaigns that are most significant in terms of identifying a house’s new direction.
Céline Spring/Summer 2015
When Céline’s S/S 2015 campaign, starring legendary American writer Joan Didion, hit the web this past January, it was easily one of the most hard-hitting we’ve seen in awhile. It was well-received almost instantly, particularly because the 80-year old model seemingly came out of nowhere – especially given creative director Phoebe Philo’s nearly uniform use of supermodel Daria Werbowy for the past several years. When asked if she was aware of the sensation she caused online and off, the author said: “I don’t have any clue. I have no idea.” As for how the campaign came about, Didion said: "They got in touch with me,” and elaborated saying that she is a fan of the brand and that she is "fortunate enough to own a few” of their things.
Saint Laurent Music Project 2015
While we are on the topic of legends, Hedi Slimane tapped 1970s folk icon Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent’s latest Music Project campaign. As custom, creative director Slimane shot the campaign, which took place in Mitchell’s home in Bel Air, California. Part of the ongoing Saint Laurent Music Project, which has seen models including Kim Gordon, Marilyn Manson, Beck, and Courtney Love, the image of the 71-year-old singer fits quite seamlessly into the Saint Laurent brand identity, given Slimane’s longstanding interest in music and the brand’s focus on both emerging and established musical talents.
Céline Fall/Winter 2015
Back to Céline. For Fall/Winter 2015, when other houses continued to cast big name models and/or famous household names, Philo opted to release a campaign with a handful of seemingly unknown models. There was not a single famous face in the Paris-based brand’s Fall campaign. Instead, the Céline team enlisted up and coming models Karly Loyce, Marland Backus, Agnes Nieske Abma and Lisa Helene Kramer, who were photographed by Juergen Teller.
Another reason this campaign is significant is derived from how it differs in terms of its casting practice in compared to similarly situated houses; in fact, it sheds light on something we know to be true about Céline. The house, known for its exquisite textiles and pricey garments and accessories, simply does not need the buzz that other houses’ court. Much like it doesn’t need social media to sell its wares for it, Céline doesn’t necessarily need the season’s hottest models to get people to talk about its ads.
Balmain Fall/Winter 2015
A brand that longs for the buzz of both social media and stunt casting maybe more than any other: Balmain. We saw this not too long ago when creative director Olivier Rousteing put Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in an ad campaign for the house. The latest rendition of Balmain’s attempt to Keep up with the Kardashians: a sibling-theme ad, starring Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Armando and Fernando Cabral, and Joan and Erika Smalls. Is this a surprising move? No. Is it a noteworthy one given the amount of social media buzz (both positive and negative) that it garnered? Yes.
Fendi Fall/Winter 2015
Bona fide “it” model, Kendall Jenner, who has found a fan in Karl Lagerfeld, fronted the famed creative director’s campaign for Fendi. Interesting (but not surprisingly), this campaign debuted to mixed results. Die-hard Kardashian/Jenner fans, which seem to be largely incapable of any real sense of objectivity and logical reasoning, LOVED the campaign. Everyone else, however, took issue, questioning just how great of a model Jenner is (or is not). Our friends over at Fashionista summed up the general consensus quite well, writing: “Kendall Jenner could not look more bored than she does in these images for Fendi.” As for whether the campaign, which was shot by Lagerfeld, as usual, drove shoppers into Fendi stores or its e-Commerce site is yet to be seen.
Givenchy Fall/Winter 2015
In a very rare designer featuring another designer move, Givenchy’s creative director, Riccardo Tisci, turned to Versace’s creative director, Donatella Versace, for his house’s Fall campaign. Long driven by a sense of family, that is exactly what both famed fashion figures noted when discussing the campaign, which was photographed by Mert and Marcus. Speaking of her cameo, Versace said: “Riccardo Tisci is extremely talented and above all my dear friend. We are family. I want to get rid of the old system, work together, support each other and make fashion a truly global community."
Gucci Pre-Fall 2015
Since taking the helm of Gucci late last year, Alessandro Michele has thoroughly revamped the house’s aesthetic, and its Pre-Fall 2015 ad campaign demonstrated this for the first time in print form. While the garments at issue were actually designed under the watch of Michele’s predecessor, Frida Giannini, the lack of over-the-top sexuality and “glitzy, glamorous Italo-babes,” as Dazed put it, is all thanks to Michele’s sleepier, more subtle take on sex appeal. Hence, the significance of the campaign, which was shot by Glen Luchford and stars models Julia Hafstrom and Jack Chambers.
Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2015
The Spring campaign for Miuccia Prada’s little sister line, Miu Miu, made headlines this year but for all the wrong reasons. Released in February and starring actress Mia Goth, the Italian brand’s campaign was subsequently banned by the British Advertising Standards Authority for “sexualizing a child.” According to the ASA, the Steven Meisel-lensed ads “show a child dressed as an adult in a sexually suggestive pose." While Goth was 22 years old when the campaign was shot, the ASA claims that Goth's outfit (a ruffled top and trousers from Miu Miu's S/S 2015 collection), her bare-faced beauty look, and the fact that she's laying on an unmade bed, give the illusion that she's under 16 years old and in a “vulnerable” position. As a result, Miu Miu faced quite a bit of backlash and was required to pull the ad throughout the UK.
Burberry Spring/Summer 2015
Also in the UK: Burberry and its Spring/Summer 2015 campaign, starring supermodel Naomi Campbell and 24-year old Jourdan Dunn, who were photographed by Mario Testino. Note: news of the campaign actually came late last year, but it did not begin making its rounds until this year. It warrants inclusion, as not only was this Naomi Campbell’s first Burberry shoot since 2001 and the fourth for Dunn, but this is the first time Burberry has launched a campaign starring exclusively black models.
The shoot also featured other British talents: George Barnett, drummer from These New Puritans and current face of the Burberry Brit Rhythm fragrance campaign; and George Le Page, drummer in Of Empires, who also opened and closed the Burberry Prorsum menswear spring/summer 2015 show. Speaking of the casting, creative director Christopher Baily said: "Naomi and Jourdan - two great British icons, two strong, beautiful women and the two perfect faces for our new campaign. It is, as always, a real privilege to work with them."
Dior Secret Garden Campaign IV 2015
While many brands are beginning to incorporate more diverse models into their runway shows and ad campaigns, Christian Dior – like many other high fashion houses – has been somewhat slow to jump on the bandwagon, so to speak. However, with the release of its most recent Secret Garden campaign in May 2015, the house showed a noteworthy willingness to look beyond its classic casting patterns. The house, then still under the creative direction of Raf Simons, tapped Rihanna to front its campaign, which was photographed by Steven Klein and styled by a member of the singer’s own team, Mel Ottenberg.
& Other Stories Fall/Winter 2015
H&M owned brand, & Other Stories, casted transgender models for a well-received campaign, which debuted this summer. Following in the footsteps of Barneys, which casted exclusively transgender models for a campaign last year, the Swedish brand cast Valentijn De Hingh and Hari Nef, as well as a creative team made up entirely of trans people, including stylist Love Bailey, makeup artist Nina Poon, and photographer Amos Mac. “I think that the way things are moving right now, it’s looking like even when the fad is over there will still be awareness of our story and our issues,” 25-year old De Hingh told WWD.
ACNE Fall/Winter 2015
In an attempt to speak to the next generation of fashion fans (and consumers!) and demonstrate its own attitude towards gender-bending style, Stockholm-based brand, ACNE, looked in house for its Fall/Winter 2015 campaign. Yes, creative director of Acne Studios, Jonny Johansson, brought his son to work for the campaign and the result was Frasse Johansson, making his modeling debut in images by Viviane Sassen. Johansson’s 11-year-old son posed in pieces from the womenswear collection and some high-heeled boots, and won over the fashion industry along the way.
Speaking of the campaign, Johansson (the father) said: "I've seen this new generation's attitude to fashion where the cut, the shape and the character of the garment is the crucial thing, rather then seeking approval from society or to follow set norms. I immediately pictured Frasse, since he embodies this new breed to me. I asked him and I'm happy that he wanted to be a part of the campaign."