Creative Director Macs Iotti and Photographer Cass Bird team up on behalf of Etro, to create an amalgam of late 60’s-inspired bohemian chic with swashbuckling pirate ambiance, complete with a white parrot and iguana. These looks in combination with a nautical nomad theme, plus a backdrop of the New York City skyline, can feel a bit clunky at first…as if too many thematic elements are vying for our attention. And yet if one takes a moment to let it all sink in, the ad campaign starts to make a lot of visual sense.
Etro was founded in 1968, at the height of the swinging 60’s era when peasant skirts and paisley prints were all the rage. From a fashion perspective, the “hippies” stole liberally from mediterranean pirates of the 17th and 18th centuries; psychedelic rock stars sported tight pants with peasant blouses, feathered plumage on their heads, and saucy scarves tied around their necks and heads. The ad campaign draws on visual connections between these eras, while adding a dash of modernity through the omni-present skyscrapers in the background, and by featuring Etro’s trademark paisley patterns as multi-colored sails.
At first the concept feels a little forced, due to what seems like disparate elements combined with the typical trappings of a contemporary fashion ad campaign: an international cast of models basking in warm sunshine. However once all the visual metaphors sink in, there are layers of meaning running underneath. The counter-cultural hippies did not steal from the pirates by happenstance, rather they were appropriating outfits to match their rebellious attitudes. Fashions from this era are constantly being re-appropriated, and Etro has built their brand on the paisley textiles that were popularized at that time. Furthermore, it is refreshing to see models in their middle age and older, such as Karen Elson (40), Mark Vanderloo (51), and Lauren Hutton (76), used to great effect…a reminder that although it might be more about the journey than the destination, looking amazing on the journey can definitely make it more fun along the way!
Etro Creative Director | Kean Etro Creative Director | Macs Iotti Photographer | Cass Bird Models | Lauren Hutton, Karen Elson, James Turlington, Alton Mason, Ugbad Abdi, Fei Fei Sun, Lexi Boling, Mark Vanderloo & Abby Champion Stylist | George Cortina Hair | Esther Langham Makeup | Romy Soleimani Casting Director | Piegiorgio Del Moro Location | Manhattan, New York Music | Saint Claude Dash By Gitkin