TREY LAIRD talks to us about his RAFA NADAL showdown to promote TOMMY HILFIGER flex suiting


Every once in a while fashion has to give a wink to itself, and if there is a brand that has a touch of humor ingrained in its DNA, it is Tommy Hilfiger. Creative Director Trey Laird of Laird + Partners knows a thing or two about that, and to help the house promote their new TH Flex suiting, has brought the wink to the party with their latest spot featuring tennis great Rafael Nadal. We caught up with Trey to hear all about it.

Trey, looked like you had some fun with this one.
We did! It was cool because we purposely stayed away from Rafa doing anything with tennis. We touched upon it when we did the underwear campaign and had fun with the strip tennis event, but in the campaign itself, we just had him being iconic.

We had wanted to do something tennis-inspired, so when the stretch wool tailored suiting program came up, we felt it was the right juxtaposition.

So a little showdown?
Yes, I had been watching all these old Westerns, like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and there was something really interesting to me about the idea of a face-off or showdown. I loved the idea of one Rafa facing off the other Rafa in a stand-off.

We filmed in Mallorca where he trains, lives and is building his academy. So we had this amazing red, white and blue Tommy tennis court built, which was a lot of fun.

Easy to film?
The location was pretty straightforward, but there was a technical aspect to it. Mikael Jansson photographed and filmed it. To do the dual we brought in a stand-in, Akin Akman, who is a great guy that is also an amazing tennis player and a model, too.  So we filmed him on one side with Rafa in a navy suit, and then we reversed it and filmed from the other side with Rafa in a gray suit, and then we linked it up and used special effects on the backend. At the end we brought them together to meet at the net.

All of it was set to an Ennio Morricone-inspired track that had a bit of that gunfight, showdown kind of vibe to it.

How did Rafa embrace the concept?
Rafa really got into it because I showed him all of these old Westerns with Clint Eastwood and all these moments where they squint their eyes and stare the other one down. It’s really fun and he kind of got into it and I love it when he came out he cocked his head and spun his racket around like a gun.

It’s meant to be all in good fun, but I think you get the feeling and the movement and the action and the energy that the suit allows you to move in. And it was cool way to show that off.

The campaign has a digital side and a print component along with some social media, so it is pretty well-rounded.

Thanks for giving us the view and sharing how it came together.
Anytime, Kenneth.



Agency | Laird + Partners
Creative Director | Trey Laird
Photographer/Director | Mikael Jansson
Director of Photography | Tristen Sheriden
Talent | Rafael “Rafa” Nadal
Stunt Double | Akin Akman
Stylist | Sean Spellman
Hair | Anthony Turner
Grooming | Mark Carrasquillo
Set Design | Piers Hamner