With a lot of attention focusing on 1990s supermodels this ad campaign season, it’s easy to overlook some of the big names of the current generation of models. But Valentino is making sure we don’t do that with second-generation supermodel, Kaia Gerber, fronting its new Black Tie campaign.
And by ‘black tie’, it doesn’t just mean another way of saying ‘formal’. Instead it said that it’s “a literal description, a codification, not a code”.
Shot by Steven Meisel, at the Oheka Castle in New York, she’s seen wearing… well, a black tie (and she’s not the only one this season as it appears to be a popular accessory even as tie sales for men are generally falling off a cliff). In the hero shot, it’s styled with a long skirt and cropped tailored jacket, plus the essential black tie accompaniment, a white shirt (also cropped). In other looks, the tie remains the foundation of each image.
Valentino said it’s an image of something that was “once a symbol of formality and masculine power [but] now represents a shift towards inclusivity and personal expression, allowing individuals to celebrate diversity, push boundaries, bringing new life and meaning to a classic symbol of elegance and power. Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli broke the codes of the Black Tie, by emptying it of its meaning and giving it a new personal choice”.
And of Gerber herself, the company said she’s “Young, Beautiful and Punk: a timeless moment that seizes an intimate portrait on an unpretentious background. For Pierpaolo Piccioli, beauty comes from harmony. It is not an aesthetic imposition, it does not obey rigid canons, nor fixed rules”.
The images include “modern interpretations of iconic elements of the Maison, such as the stud and the roses [that] linger dynamically, and act as a symbol of opulence and grandeur”.
We’re told the black and white campaign is intended to “disclose the beauty and confidence of a unique individual, who disobeys the rules and traditional standards of a dress by establishing its own. Unconcerned with social conventions, Kaia boldly embraces the unexpected looks, with a newfound sense of rebellion and confidence. It is a refreshing departure from the norm and a demonstration to the power of individuality and self-expression”.
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