Designer fashion campaigns have gone from classic to iconic to downright outlandish. Depending on the brands you love, you’ll see different sides of the fashion industry and the designers’ creativity. From Armani to Zara, fashion campaigns showcase the best ideas from the most talented fashion minds on the planet, and they are as varied as the people who create them.
There are good campaigns and great ones, but what separates the wheat from the chaff? Let us take a look:
Following your vision and your gut as a designer.
Having clarity in a creative idea and sticking to your belief in that vision, no matter how many naysayers there are, is imperative in fashion.
Doing the same thing people have been doing for years might sell some basics. Still, if you want to capture the Zeitgeist and be remembered in fashion history as a designer who changed the game, you have to innovate rather than stick to a well-known formula.
Whether it’s repping a designer sunglasses sale, promoting a couture line, or showing the world a new range of shoes, designers go big or go home. Each designer makes their own statement in their way, but some have done it so loudly or so sweetly that we remember the campaigns years after they’ve come and gone. Check out the campaigns from the last decade that we believe should go down in fashion history.
Armani, Fall 2008
The ready-to-wear campaign for the Fall 2008 garments was rich in color and diversity. The face of the campaign was Chinese model Du Juan, shot by Mert Allas and Marcus Pigott. The campaign was incredibly modern and avant-garde for 2008. Taking from traditional Geisha makeup but simplifying it by using a bold red lip and a very muted, glowing face gave the whole campaign a diversity lacking in fashion at the time. Du’s barely-there brows, combined with her blunt, messy bob, brought out the Asian influences in the collection. In contrast with the garments’ modernity, rich, warm colors were used in the collection and the shots. The warmth of all the images and the soft focus invited you in and gave the campaign an intimate feeling that we still adore all these years later.
Dolce & Dabbana, Spring 2006
This collection informed many of the looks in the premier season of Gossip Girl, released the following year. The campaign gave the phrase “roll in the hay” a new meaning. Steven Meisel shot a bevy of fresh young faces in fashion in a barn setting. The campaign produced a “Bright Young Things” but with the Rennaisance vibe. The makeup was smoky, the hair slightly disheveled, and the sixties styles lent a bit of modernity to the scene. The campaign gave us the impression that these beautiful, glamorous people had been dancing all night and just arrived at the after-party to get up to some mischief. The shots were designed to make you feel like you wanted to be part of that club, and they succeeded. Most of the collection was soft and smoky, but the pops or ruby red brought it to life.
Alexander McQueen, Spring/Summer 23
McQueen has always been all about royalty, as befitting his name. The textures, prints, embellishments, and shapes in the new SS campaign are true luxuries worthy of Marie Antoinette herself. The prestige of the campaign has been cemented by the queen of fashion, Naomi Campbell. The other faces of the campaign show a diversity that we are happy to see in modern fashion; from young actresses with fascinating looks to seasoned models, the gang’s all here, and McQueen skillfully utilizes all of their looks and skills. Plush and artistic fabrics set against a somewhat brutalist background of the city at night really emphasize that McQueen understands every aspect of modern womanhood better than any other designer.
Gucci, Spring/Summer 01
Few models in the profession’s history can genuinely carry the weight of an entire seasonal campaign on their shoulders, but Kate Moss is one of them. The Tom Ford for Gucci collection in the Spring/ Summer season was truly iconic, and Kate was the only woman for the job. Her almost punk attitude with that tilt of the chin, juxtaposed against a collection that was largely very feminine and even dangerously sexy at times, really sold the looks. The black sunglasses and that incredible leather rib cage was just the icing on the cake of a minimal, incredibly well-thought-out campaign.
Honorable mentions go to:
Balenciaga, spring 2006
Jill Sander, spring 2008
Chrishabana, fall 2021
These campaigns have stood out for years, and we do not doubt that they will continue to do so for years and years to come.
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