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With New York Men’s shows just days away, designers are busy prepping for the final leg of the Fall Men’s Collections at NYMFW. Design house PERRY ELLIS,  a fixture of American menswear, is one of the week’s most highly anticipated shows as well as seasonal ad campaigns. With the launch of their campaign, we spoke with Chief Creative Director STEPHEN NIEDZWIECKI and  Executive Creative Director RICHARD AUSTIN of the agency YARD to learn more about it.

BY KENNETH RICHARD | The Impressionist

Hello, gentlemen, love the wink of the Very Perry Spring 2016 campaign. What was the inspiration behind it?
Stephen Niedzwiecki: We are now in our sixth season of the Very Perry campaign. The campaign was always inspired by his playful approach to fashion. This season we thought we could return to a place that was close to his heart and where a lot of his inspiration stemmed from.

Richard Austin: The “Very Perry” lens means that we can have a lot of fun with the Perry Ellis heritage of the “beach” rather than imitate his early campaigns.

Who did you work with to create it?
Stephen Niedzwiecki: When we first launched this campaign, we worked with Dan Jackson for several seasons.

We now evolved the look for this Spring campaign with Frederike Helwig.

Richard Austin: Both have been key to crafting the attitude that has felt right, they bring to the campaigns the character that we want to be able to stand out in the mix. Also, being able to work with everyone from Matt Norklun, who was Perry’s original muse, to Chris Moore lets us show that style is ageless.

The original muse is really interesting. How has it been since Perry Ellis on-boarded a creative director/designer, Michael Maccarri, for the brand?
Stephen Niedzwiecki: Everyone at Perry have been true collaborative partners from day one. It’s been great for us having Michael Maccarri to partner with from a design perspective. We have been able to elevate the brand’s image as now product and concept are working seamlessly.

And he is great to have a laugh with on set. They are a fun bunch to work with and I think Perry would have liked them!

Richard Austin: We all share an obsession with Perry and it has created a strong, creative collaboration.

What changes have you seen in the landscape of menswear? And how have you approached these new challenges for Perry?
Richard Austin: Guys finally have a lot of brands to choose from, but most of men’s brands tend to take themselves too seriously. It is nice to show a different kind of guy and how style does not always have to be so intimidating. This is our way of updating the American attitude. Perry was one of the leaders in American style, so we embrace it every season. The challenge is also an opportunity to create something new and fresh.

Stephen Niedzwiecki: With so many channels to connect with consumers, we have really been able to flex and push the Very Perry platform in ways we never imagined when we first developed it.

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Agency | Yard
Founder & Chief Creative Officer | Stephen Niedzwiecki
Executive Creative Director | Richard Austin
Photographer | Frederike Helwig
Models | Robert Sipos and Chris Moore
Stylist | Michael Fisher
Groomer | Kumi Craig
Set Design | Eli Metcalf
Senior Art Director | Jarrell Fudickar
Executive Director of Integrated Production | Jennifer Carter-Campbell
Account Supervisor | Tiffany Hufford
Producer | Sara Harper