By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist
Chanel’s recent cruise ads have us asking a single question aimed not at Joan Smalls, who is showing off the collection, but her young male co-star. The question in mind; “Are you waiting for your parents?”
The campaign, lensed by Karl Lagerfeld, makes tremendous use of an elegantly simple set with some inspiring touches from the hints of turquoise to the most desirable door knockers of the season. Note to Neiman Marcus, get these in your online Holiday catalog stat. However the ad leaves us less focused on Joan’s looks and more concerned if her co-star is lost.
The co-star in question is Hudson Kroenig, son of male model Brad Kroenig who looks to have wondered into a hotel lobby to wait for his parents. At times the young man is like us, wondering what Joan is doing, while at others he acts as a prop. Ideally we love the idea of more children in luxury ad campaigns. After all fashion is a lifestyle and families are a part of our lives. To think that the luxury clothing consumer is made up of 20 year old runway models is ludicrous and we thank those designers like Alber Elbaz, who featured models of all ages in the recent Lanvin show for raising this point. However Chanel’s cruise campaign doesn’t display any emotional involvement between the characters thus the viewers are left wondering if they are connected at all.
Karl Lagerfeld’s mastery of talents has paved the way for designers like Hedi Slimane and Reed Krakoff to also take risk and pick up the lens to follow through on their vision. Ideally we’d love to see Karl bring more human interaction to the campaigns presenting models that acknowledge each other in a humanistic fashion. Karl keenly has a connection to the Kroenig family as Hudson and father have walked a Chanel show together and Karl has been seen himself strolling with the family often holding Hudson’s hand. It’s a side to Karl that we would love for him to bring into the ads. As for Chanel’s cruise 2015 ad campaign, it simply needs a hug.