March 8, 2022
Canadian department store chain Holt Renfrew has released its spring 2022 campaign starring Toronto-based singer, songwriter and poet Mustafa.
Inspired by optimism and the opportunities of tomorrow, the campaign features bright and colorful men’s and womenswear as the retailer explores themes of hope and joy. Filmed in Toronto last fall, the campaign includes a short film and still imagery, as well as behind-the-scenes interviews with the Canadian singer.
Meaning of hope
As a poet, when asked what hope means to him, Mustafa gave an unsurprisingly profound answer.
“I believe hope is a knife,” he says in the video. “It can cut you or it can help you cut through anything.
“Cut through air, cut through whatever barrier you have,” he says. “There are times hope was plunged into me and shattered me, but it also helped restore me when I was able to use it to carve space for myself.”
When asked about personal memories, the young artist shared his mother used to say, “Tim Jameelek,” which he always found inspiring.
Mustafa stars in a short film for the retailer’s spring campaign
Mustafa started to make a name for himself at 12 years old with his poem “A Single Rose,” and since then has written songs for musical artist The Weeknd, released his debut album “When Smoke Rises” last year and created and released the short film Remember me, Toronto.
Items from the spring edit are available in-store and online, and range from $70 to $2,920.
For its recent campaigns, Holt Renfrew has shifted its focus toward more culturally relevant figures and activities — perhaps in a bid to attract younger consumers.
In July 2021, the retailer turned the spotlight on local skaters to bring summer’s skateboard-inspired style to life.
Although streetwear and skateboarding culture was popularized on a global scale in the 1990s and early 2000s, it has only recently begun to permeate the luxury fashion space. Holt Renfrew’s summer advertising effort, “Holts Playground,” featured skaters who share their love for the culture, what skating has taught them and the importance of diversity in the sport (see story).