Review of Bottega Veneta Spring 2024 Ad Campaign by Creative Director Matthieu Blazy and Photographer Alec Soth with models Diane Chiu, Walid Fiher, Imaan Hammam, Lara Menezes, Awar Odhiang, Douta Sidibe, Penelope Ternes, Daisuke Ueda, Kris Wardak, Haojie Qi, Shun Yoshida, and Li Cheng Yuan
Bottega Veneta slides into color with a whimsical yet deeply rooted Spring 2024 campaign, lensed by photographer Alec Soth.
Soth’s imagery evolves the perspective of elevated realism that has characterized Bottega’s campaigns under the creative direction of Matthieu Blazy, offering a direct yet sensitive look at the designer’s quietly imaginative craft mastery. But while previous campaigns were grounded in their familiar and somewhat serious urban environments, this new chapter takes on a flavor of playfulness and surrealism through a brilliant choice of location: playgrounds across Tokyo.
When I encounter Matthieu’s work, I am in two worlds simultaneously. One is profoundly physical – a world of craftsmanship that engages all of the senses – and the other is the stuff of dreams. My guiding approach to the campaign was playfulness. The playgrounds felt like a metaphor for Matthieu’s whimsical imagination. I wanted to bring the same spirit of colorful serendipity to my pictures.”
– Alec Soth
The photographer was more than successful in this endeavor. Among whimsical playground architecture like giant hollow mushrooms and climbable octopi, Blazy’s designs – precise, nuanced, classic but radically departed from tradition – reveal a deep character of playfulness and creative freedom. Though they may for the most part have stone-cold smizes, the models too, almost revert to a childlike sense of wonder.
The accompanying short videos further push this playful sensibility by expanding the world through nostalgic micro-narratives, like a character zooming down a giraffe slide or eating a PBJ from a brown paper bag. Rather then making the house’s knack for craft and sharp tailoring seem silly, the approach seems to say that silliness needs to be taken more seriously. Design begins with play, and, when done best, ends with it too.
The campaign cleverly builds on the brand’s steadily strong output over recent seasons, showing how a change of context can spark new connections and meanings and prompt reflection on the creative act. In addition to being super cute, the portrait photos and episodic video vignettes also nicely lend themself to driving social media engagement – although, with the brand still off Instagram and not on TikTok, it’s not exactly clear where the videos will live.
Other than that one strategic qualm, the campaign feels flawlessly and gorgeously executed. Bringing out a new light of color and playfulness that was already present in the brand’s consistent identity through a clever change of context, Bottega Veneta inspires not only elegance and artistry, but exploration and play.
Bottega Veneta Creative Director | Matthieu Blazy Photographer | Alec Soth Models | Diane Chiu, Walid Fiher, Imaan Hammam, Lara Menezes, Awar Odhiang, Douta Sidibe, Penelope Ternes, Daisuke Ueda, Kris Wardak, Haojie Qi, Shun Yoshida, and Li Cheng Yuan Hair | Duffy Makeup | Hiromi Ueda Casting Director | Anita Bitton Location | Tokyo, Japan