September 16, 2020
British fashion label Belstaff is recognizing the spirit of self-discovery with a new campaign and creative collaboration.
British actor James Norton stars in Belstaff’s fall/winter 2020 campaign, which will be followed by his own collection for the brand. The campaign was produced by the London-based creative firm Trends&Culture.
“The inspiration was James Norton himself – the campaign video is his own words, his own restless and relentless spirit, and his determination and pursuit of new experiences – these are completely congruent with Belstaff,” said Tammy Smulders, CEO of Trends&Culture, London. “James also has a strong sense of style and wears the Belstaff well.”
Belstaff’s campaign was shot on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England, underscoring the brand’s adventurous roots.
Directed by Blair Getz Mezibov, the film begins with Mr. Norton walking alongside the shoreline. The color palette is muted and naturalistic, while the accompanying still photographs are in black and white for a timeless feel.
“The setting in Dorset, England felt cinematic, expansive and timeless,” Ms. Smulders said.
Mr. Norton’s voiceover accompanies sweeping shots of the English Channel as well as images of the actor exploring the coastline.
Actor James Norton for Belstaff’s fall/winter 2020 campaign
“For me, life is about learning and new experiences,” Mr. Norton says. “I’m not the guy that goes halfway up the mountain; I have to get to the top.”
The actor walks through the waves wearing vintage-inspired leather boots and a military-style Milford coat. The narration continues, touching on his personal philosophy and connection with nature.
“I find that I’m at my focused when I’m outdoors,” he says. “It’s a place to gather my thoughts, embrace what’s in front of me and remind myself to live.”
The actor’s tendency to push himself is apparent in his announced collaboration with Belstaff.
Mr. Norton’s range for the brand is set to debut in March 2021.
Road Less Travelled
Belstaff often celebrates individuality in its campaign efforts.
In a 2019 collaboration with high-end camera manufacturer Leica, Belstaff shared the stories of “Everyday Heroes” through short films. The individuals featured live and work in the Scottish countryside, showing a more realistic portrayal of the men and women who may wear Belstaff.
Emily Garthwaite shot portraits of the men and women, while fellow Leica photographer Cat Garcia captured candid, behind-the-scenes imagery. Their naturalistic artistic styles reflect the functional aesthetic associated with Belstaff (see story).
To promote this fall campaign, Mr. Norton also appeared on Belstaff’s “The Road Less Travelled” podcast.
Host Reggie Yates interviews personalities who pursued “unfamiliar roads in life.” Previous guests include actor and rapper Riz Ahmed, actor Mark Strong and TV star Holliday Grainger (see story).
More campaign materials are forthcoming.
“The [Norton] campaign is inspired by the heritage and modernity of Belstaff, and the brand’s mission of pursuing a road less travelled, about grit and spirit, self-reliance and restlessness,” Trends&Culture’s Ms. Smulders said. “James’s own attitude and approach to life perfectly reflect the values of the brand.”