Review of Proenza Schouler x Mercedes-Benz Capsule 2021 Ad Campaign by Creative Directors Charles Levai and Kevin Tekinel and Photographer Harley Weir with Talent Laura Dern and Ellery Harper
Proenza Schouler makes a sudden turn in the form of a collaboration with Mercedes-Benz. The resulting collaborative capsule is celebrated in a new campaign by creative directors Charles Levai and Kevin Tekinel and photographer Harley Weir.
The collaborative capsule combines Proenza Schouler’s elevated take on classic, travel-ready pieces with iconic Mercedes-Benz branding, realizing the seven gender-neutral pieces in earthy tones inspired by the car manufacturer’s go-to colors.
The collaboration is celebrated in a photography campaign starring the iconic and inimitable Laura Dern – as well as her son, Ellery Harper. Decked out in the new collection, the pair hit the open road in a new electric Mercedes. Weir’s thoughtful photographs capture the energy and excitement of travel, while paying subtle attention to the shifting effects of light.
Like the capsule itself, the campaign looks good, but leaves us scratching our heads as to why. What does Proenza Schouler get out of a collaboration with Mercedes, other than a recognizable brand and name?
It’s a promising young label that’s developing quite a following; this is their first collaboration with a brand outside of fashion, and the choice feels totally random. Other than an affinity for contemporary design and luxury in the broadest sense, the two houses don’t seem to have anything in common, and their partnership doesn’t have anything to say.
The campaign suffers from the task of having to craft a sensible storyline out of this senseless combination. The photographs are beautiful, and it’s nice to see some real mother-and-son bonding from the lovely Laura Dern – but putting the two brands’ products together with good visuals doesn’t make the collaboration feel any less incongruous.
Proenza Schouler Creative Directors | Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez
Creative Directors | Charles Levai and Kevin Tekinel
Photographer | Harley Weir
Models | Laura Dern and Ellery Harper
Stylist | Joe McKenna
Hair | Cyndia Harvey