©VALENTINO, Photography by Michael Bailey-Gates


Resort 2022 Ad Campaign

Review of Valentino Resort 2022 Ad Campaign by Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli and Photographer Michael Baily Gates

Valentino celebrates physical presence and all the possibility of connection it suggests in a gorgeous new Resort 2022 campaign by director Pierpaolo Piccioli and photographer Michael Baily Gates.

Blooming with all the subtle, sensual drama of nonverbal human connection and communication, the campaign is a gorgeous celebration of the world’s return to the physical. Set in the communal space of an elegant Parisian cafe – the door, patio, and windows of which allow for some nice visual interplay of interior and exterior – the film focuses on moments of noticing and connection between its characters. Sometimes it’s something as simple as reveling in the joy of people watching, recognizing something in another person’s face or the way they sit; while other times it’s a moment of eye contact or touch that suggests the subtle but unmistakable charge of the erotic. A saxophone-tinged dreampop soundtrack supports the sense of the romantic.

This energy is carried to its peak as the film culminates in a passionate kiss between two characters, with the cinematography and music conveying the giddy rhythm of a quickly pounding heart. It’s a bit more of an overtly erotic gesture than we normally see from the tactfully restrained Valentino, but here it ties into the house’s aesthetic seamlessly and beautifully.

After seasons of being trapped seeing others on a computer screen, this excitement of real physical connection feels so needed.

The film takes as its visual basis creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli’s mastery of color, and Gates’ photographs develop this approach perfectly into still vignettes.

His photographs hum with the harmony of color and composition of a masterfully painted portrait.

While the moments it focuses on are small and ephemeral, the campaign does a beautiful job in conveying the grandiose emotional movements behind them. Expressing this energy through the romantic and colorful visual language of Valentino, it feels like the perfect celebration of the world’s renewed possibility for life and love.

Valentino Creative Director | Pierpaolo Piccioli
Photographer | Michael Bailey Gates
Models | Rokhaya Fall, Gaïa, Esther Smets, Laff Michelle, Tina Kunakey, Christian Coppola, Magdaleno Delgado, & Dixie Damelio
Stylist | Edward Bowleg III
Hair | Benjamin Muller
Makeup | Karin Westerlund
Manicurist | Cam Tran
Casting | Aamo Casting
Location | Paris, France