Loewe x Studio Ghibli

Spring 2023 Ad Campaign

Review of Loewe x Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle Spring 2023 Ad Campaign by Photographer Juergen Teller with Talent Taylor Russell, Rianne Van Rompaey, Oliver O’Sullivan, Hyunji Shin

Loewe continues its playful partnership with beloved animation studio Studio Ghibli with the launch of a new chapter in celebration of Howl’s Moving Castle. The capsule stars in a campaign shot by photographer Juergen Teller.

Following the previous two year’s installments of the collaboration that highlighted My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, the film that forms the subject of the third and final capsule is also one of Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson’s favorites.

The world we are living in needs a counteract: not as an escape, but as a different outlook. This, to me, is what Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films for Studio Ghibli are about: a commentary on the moment and an alternative to it, always heartfelt, fulfilling, full of fantasy and sentiment. This is also the reason why the final installment of our collaboration with Studio Ghibli feels more timely than ever.

– Jonathan Anderson, Loewe Creative Director

Loosely based on a 1986 novel of the same title by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl’s Moving Castle tells a story of loyalty and compassion against a backdrop of magic, imposing technology and the destructive effects of war. Blending hand-drawn and digital animation, the film is also technically innovative, exemplifying the power of craft as a bridge between the old and new – a creative approach that resonates with Loewe’s own.

The collection features the film’s key characters – Sophie, Howl, fire demon Calcifer, as well as Markl, Heen, Turnip Head, and the Witch of the Waste – animating clothing and accessories: drawn as leather or shearling intarsia, turned into embroidery on leather or textile, decorated with crystal and stud inlays on leather. The characters appear on a range of the house’s signature bags, on small leather goods, on jumpers, jackets, and shirts, with thoughtfully crafted details making them stand out as if they were alive. Scenes of the film are printed in the lining of tweed jackets, or all over shirts and shorts, while the titular castle itself appears as an assemblage of elements from various leather bags to form its own distinct piece.

Teller takes a straightforward studio approach to capturing the rich and playful details of the collection, shooting his models against a simple white backdrop with unfussy lighting. Coupled with the models’ big smiles and unpretentious poses, the approach creates a feeling of openness and affability, an atmosphere that works perfectly with Ghibli’s ethos of playfulness, imagination, and heart.

Studio Ghibli’s films are pretty much universally beloved, so of course its a smart move for Loewe to tap into this popularity. But more than just mere capitalizing on hype, the collections have shown a deep sense of thoughtfulness and ingenuity in how to capture the spirit of these films and what they mean for people. This final chapter is a fitting conclusion for such an exciting and resonant multi-year collaborative project.

Loewe Creative Director | Jonathan Anderson
Photographer | Juergen Teller
Talent | Taylor Russell, Rianne Van Rompaey, Oliver O’Sullivan, Hyunji Shin, and a sheep

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