BY KENNETH RICHARD
After years of championing creative for brands such as Kate Spade, Banana Republic and Tommy Hilfiger, Creative Director Claudia Bruno recently launched her own cultural fashion magazine: Bare.
The premier issue featured an all-star cast of talent including Billy Kidd, Jem Mitchell, Chris Craymer capturing the likes of Ali Michael, Hannah Holman, and our attention.
The Impressionist sat down with Claudia recently to chat about her journey, her inspirations, and what it was like to launch Bare.
First things first, we have to chat about this magazine of yours. It’s a big deal and congratulations on creating something so dreamy and engaging. So, after years of working on some fantastic projects, why did you decide to launch a magazine?
Thanks, we’re pretty delighted with the reaction to the launch issue. Why is a good question. I would say most fashion magazines just weren’t touching on the honest and raw fashion images that I love. I joined forces with my long time collaborator and friend Courtney Saunders – we’ve worked on and off together as a team since meeting at Kate Spade.
We were looking to do a publication full of smart, evocative stories and images that would stay with the audience long after they closed the magazine. A magazine for people like us—intellectual, substantive people who aren’t slaves to fashion but creators of it.
And while I work on some pretty great projects, Bare was about getting creative without the rules. It enabled me to stretch my wings in the fashion industry so to speak.
Tell us a little bit about that stretch.
We were seeking to strip away the gloss and artifice of traditional fashion media. In this high tech era, we wanted to assert our affinity with the printed piece – with paper. The magazine is printed on heavy, uncoated stock and photos are not retouched.
In photography, I wanted to convey the sense of honesty and raw emotion that is reflected in those iconic moments when great models and photographers come together. Models who are interesting people in their own right, and when they truly reveal who they are as individuals, images truly resonate. I wanted to capture a memorable soulfulness. Certain images just stay with you, for instance, when Corrine Day took those remarkable photographs of Kate Moss. They showed Kate in a whole new way with a wonderful sense of innocence and honesty that I feel is missing today. She captured Kate as Kate.
We wanted the whole magazine to convey this sense of honesty and raw emotion. The look and feel of the magazine, from the typography, to the essays and the literary pieces…everything reflects this particular aesthetic.
I think people are yearning for this now. We’re inundated with imagery and so much of it doesn’t ring true. When you capture something authentic and true, it commands attention. You can see this in Billy Kidd’s beautiful and powerful portraits.
But we also wanted to convey a sense of humor about it all. Fashion can take itself pretty seriously. So we ended the issue with a portrait of the photographer Maria Robledo’s pet bunny rabbit.
Given that you have worked with Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade, Anthropologie and Banana Republic, what makes a great brand and is there anyone else on your list that you would like to work with?
What I have noticed throughout the years is that the best ads come from brands, big or small, that simply take risks. When Courtney and I started, in the early days of Kate Spade, they were original, influential and had the good sense to stay true to their brand – and they were brave about it. As a brand, if you don’t embrace the unique and true aspects of your brand, you’re missing the point. Kate Spade was preppy, graphic and idiosyncratic. And we worked to make that play in those early ads. But if you take away the idiosyncrasy – it could be so many brands. Kate Spade was one of the first brands to work with fine arts photographers and the work had that nice edge to it.
I would say that in any work that I do, both commercial and purely aesthetic – I’m always seeking to capture those iconic, emotive, soulful moments that linger in your memory. And those are always rooted in some kind of truth.
As for whom I’d like to work with, I’ve been fortunate to work with amazing brands but of course my wish list continues to grow. A few of my dream clients would have to be Orla Kiely, A.P.C., Carven, Kenzo, Hermes, Margaret Howell, Celine, Scotch and Soda, Oliver Peoples, Mulberry, Chloe, and Bottega Veneta. Love the work Shinola is doing.
Knowing that you love portrait photographs, you must have a list of photographers that you would just love to work with.
I’ve worked with so many brilliant people but would love to work with Peter Lindbergh. His work is amazingly honest and enduring and you can see that he loves women.
I admire the work of Vivianne Sassen and love her fine arts approach to fashion image-making. For similar reasons Tierney Gearon work is always inspired. I always love to look at Bruce Davidson, Guy Bourdin for inspiration. And Richard Avedon, of course. I’m a huge fan of Cass Bird’s work. And we’ve been working with some new, brilliant talent: Boe Marion, Serge Leblon, Marlene Marino, Boo George, Billy Kidd, and Jem Mitchell.
Well we look forward to your next issue, which is on our short list.
And I’m working on that now!
Bare can be found at premium magazine booksellers around the world or via subscription at firstname.lastname@example.org
See more at http://www.bare-journal.com