The real power in marketing today is the marriage of brand values and creative imagery that is emoting, socially conscious, and narrative. In short, the story is deeper with layers that touch on moving more than the product, it moves the social conversation forward.
Since founding her namesake label Rihanna Fenty has leveraged her narrative to help spotlight artist who are documentarians of culture such as Kwame Brathwaite. A key documentarian of the Black is Beautiful movement of the 1960s and 70s. For her latest ‘8-19’ Fenty release the designer, along with GB65 Creative Director Giovanni Bianco, has spotlighted the work of Liz Johnson Artur by leveraging the documentary photographer to lens models Nayara Oliveira, Yerim Ko, Nafisah Zia Zohra, Max, and Katharina strolling though the Peckham District of South London.
Bulgaria-born Johnson Artur is Ghanaian-Russian and lives and works in London, where she has spent the last three decades documenting the lives of black people from across the African Diaspora on film. The artist calls her body of work her ‘Black Balloon Archive.’ The name derives from American soul singer Syl Johnson’s song Black Balloons, from his 1969 album Is It Because I’m Black?. Since 1991 the artist’s has captured a trove of stories and people she has encountered around London.
In her series of candid moments for Fenty, Johnson Artur explores themes of sisterhood, shameless extravagance, and gender stereotypes. While the work is still a fashion campaign, the feel is that of a documentary capturing the scene of several friends out and about.
The campaign on its own is one thing but the thread of what the designer is doing is another. Bianco and Rihanna Fenty are building a longer-form narrative comprised of talent and photographic artists that have never been pulled together before. They are expanding the reach and messages of those artists to sway a culture.
Fenty Creative Director | Rihanna Fenty Agency | GB65 Creative Director | Giovanni Bianco Photographer/Director | Liz Johnson Artur Models | Nayara Oliveira, Yerim Ko, Nafisah Zia Zohra, Max, & Katharina Stylist | Jahleel Weaver Hair | Yusef Williams Makeup | Ammy Drammeh Location | Peckham District of South London