Review of Canali ‘Gentle Gestures’ Fall 2021 Ad Campaign by Photographer Mel Bles
Canali infuses sophisticated masculinity with a message of gentleness and positivity in a new campaign for Fall 2021, featuring photography by Mel Bles.
Alternating between color compositions and black-and-white detail shots, Bles creates a mood of soft sophistication that nicely contrasts with the rectilinearity of the cityscape backdrop.
Though the imagery is crisp, it doesn’t quite reach the level of emotional connection that the aphorisms of its text-based art direction aspire to. A hand writing a note we can’t see doesn’t necessarily “spread a message of gentleness;” a guy holding a potted tree doesn’t quite make us “feel the grace of nature.” It’s impressive that Bles can draw a mood of intimacy and sophistication out of these simple subjects, but there is not really a sense of narrative to justify or support the vague presence of these optimistic phrases.
It is a smart and welcome move that Canali is beginning to put some messaging of positive masculinity with their signature style of classically refined menswear – a brand that is more than just a look is always bound to make more of an impact. While the values expressed here feel a bit too vague to make a strong narrative connection, the brand is moving in the right direction.
Photographer | Mel Bles
Stylist | Beat Bollinger