Ports 1961

Spring 2021 Ad Campaign

Review of Ports 1961 Spring 2021 Ad Campaign by Ports 1961 Art Director Karl Templer and Creative Director Fabien Baron of Agency Baron & Baron, and Photographer Steven Meisel with model Rianne Van Rompaey

Rianne Van Rompaey gets ghostly for Ports 1961. Steven Meisel photographs the Dutch model for the brand’s evocative new Spring 2021 campaign, which features creative direction from Fabien Baron.

Much of the campaign’s visual impact actually stems from the hair and makeup work of Guido Palau and Pat McGrath, respectively. They bleach her eyebrows and slick her hair back across her skull, which has an intense effect of making her eyes incredibly large and striking and making her face seem almost skeletal. It is a haunting, otherworldly kind of beauty.

The choice feels smartly keyed into the personality of the collection, which features flowing fabric that expands the body and blurs its boundaries. Alternating between gladiator-like sandals and metallic pumps, Van Rompaey still feels somewhat connected to our world, but conveys a sense of supernatural power and ephemerality.

Meisel and Baron make the right decision to shoot in black and white, which emphasizes the flowing shapes of fabric and the intriguing sense of shadow.

It is quite a different campaign from the color and bombast we saw in the last couple of seasons from Ports 1961 – but we love the change of direction. This campaign feels deeper, more challenging, more emotional – and thus more memorable. While we’re not quite sure whether she’s a benevolent spirit, we are happy to find ourselves being haunted.

Ports 1961 Art Director | Karl Templer
Agency | Baron & Baron
Creative Director | Fabien Baron
Photographer | Steven Meisel 
Model | Riane Van Rompaey
Hair | Guido Palau
Makeup | Pat McGrath
Set Designer | Mary Howard