What are the unique codes that separate a mega fashion brand that is a discussion everyone wants to jump in, versus a traditional house that kills a conversation when they walk into a room?
What does a new creative director have to do to evoke a dialogue that drives word-of-mouth, interest, and ultimately sales?Both of these questions come to mind when taking a critical eye toward the house of Salvatore Ferragamo under the new creative directorship of Paul Andrew.
Andrew is a classicist, a respecter of heritage who values history as well as steady sales. For the past several seasons at the helm he has championed that history over disruptive innovation and continues that course for Salvatore Ferragamo’s Spring 2019 ad campaign art directed by Laird + Partners and lensed by photographer of the moment Harley Weir.
This campaign is not some dreamed up fashion fantasy: Harley’s beautifully shot images reflect what we know to be true about Salvatore Ferragamo: it is a house whose history of innovation and sophistication has earned it an international audience that spans both genders, almost every nation, and almost every age group. That is something for us to shout from the rooftops.
Not hard to see where Andrew lands on the fashion versus fantasy debate. He may likely argue that this seasons campaign in many ways, to many people, is an aspirational fantasy. There are valid points to that; shot in the lushly cultivated gardens of a privately-owned villa close to Rome, a diverse cast of models from all across the world posed as friends all traversing in luxurious roadsters. Gorgeous sky, gorgeous people, gorgeous lifestyle.
However despite all that the campaign falls short of what The Impression sees as a modern aspirational campaign fantasy that drives excitement because underneath all of the gorgeous elements there is no risk, risque, or rise. Plus simply because the house is known across demographics and continents, doesn’t mean it is automatically worth being a center of a conversation. However, the house is at the center of something, the middle of the road, not pushing in an direction hard enough for anyone to take notice.
The campaign is as pleasant as Pleasantville, but that town needed to ask what is outside of it to bring color to their world. Where is the innovation? What is sophistication mean today and how Salvatore Ferragamo own it as a story? Any answer to these questions is a step in the right direction. Then and only then can the house have something to shout about, a flavor other than vanilla. And when Andrew nails that shout out, with great taste, it is going to warrant some dynamic discussions.
Salvatore Ferragamo Creative Director | Paul Andrew Agency | Laird+Partners Creative Director | Trey Laird Photographer | Harley Weir Models| Binx Walton, Cara Taylor, Carolyn Murphy, Daniel Morel, Didier Vinson, Fei Fei Sun, Georgina Grenville, Henry Kitcher Stylist | Jodie Barnes Hair | Jimmy Paul Makeup | Thomas De Kluyver Casting Director | Piergiorgio Del Moro Location | Villa Trinita, Rome