November 11, 2022
Spanish fashion label Loewe is exploring ancient luxuries with a monochromatic design approach, and a campaign cast that is anything but.
The brand is out with a new ad effort, wherein creative director Jonathan Anderson answers the call of creativity with a collection inspired by timeless Chinese ceramics. Italian film director Luca Guadagnino, American actress Chloë Sevigny, Japanese singer Mari Natsuki, American visual artist Roni Horn, English actress Naomi Ackie and newly-appointed brand ambassador Taylor Russell star, among others.
"In a world where individuality can feel very performative, this work strips the artifice away," said James Denman, head of innovation and marketing at Yard NYC, New York.
"It plays with wit in ways that allow the subjects to express themselves [and] feels fresh for a luxury brand," he said. "[Photographer] Juergen [Teller], and his ability to tease out the personality in his work, is a natural fit for what Loewe wants to express in its creative vision."
"Loewe remains streets ahead of the competition in its ability to provide luxury that puts intelligence before pure commercialism."
The brand's spring/summer 2023 precollection campaign employs a creative crew.
Loewe has deployed a diverse set of characters, seen across campaign portraiture shot by German fine art and fashion photographer and ongoing collaborator Juergen Teller.
Seemingly incongruous at first sight, viewers quickly learn that the brand's ambassadors stand united in their respective individuality, an impressive feat. A composition of Mr. Guadagnino, for example, includes kitschy kitchen essentials.
The “Call Me By Your Name” screenwriter's expression reads stoic under sharp light, wearing a self-referential sweater that screams "Anderson-era", dubbed the Chinese Monochrome collection sweatshirt.
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Meanwhile, Ms. Natsuki grips a bright pink Puzzle bag and a poignant expression in another shot. Her graphic nail art adds to the appeal.
Front a Spanish-style villa ledge, Mr. Horn dons a jacket with details that bear resemblance to a garment prepped for tie dye, as portions bulge out from the pressure of stringent holds.
Ms. Sevigny sports a multicolor outerwear piece out in nature. A beaming grin sets the childlike scene for her wearable play parachute attire.
"These pieces are not for everyone, but that is their inherent power," Mr. Denman said.
"They give the owners clout by associating with something deeper than simply hype."
Ms. Ackie's blue button-up would be the collection's most basic selection, if not for a set of oversized sleeve cuffs.
Ms. Russell's disposition is complemented by the youthful whimsy of her duck-billed loafers and red-and-white striped dress with a ballon-bubbled hem.
Per usual, proportions are out to play.
Here, Mr. Juergen's style of shooting notable under glaringly “normal” treatments further highlights the unique elements to be found among this collection's contents.
The series is forward, its juxtapositions endlessly engaging.
"Jurgen and Loewe are perfect partners because Loewe itself is so chameleon," Mr. Denman said.
The culture of (reinventing) craft
Comprising the house’s spring/summer 2023 precollection campaign are Mr. Teller’s photos, which include new Loewe handbags, out now. Grounding its efforts, though, is a film commission, which features the aforementioned accessories and lends greater depth to the creations.
Launched Nov. 10, fans of the brand's spring/summer 2023 campaign can give the limited-edition handbags it features a home for the holidays.
Expanding end-of-year clientele with lesser-priced leather models also appears to remain top-of-mind, as smaller wallet models centered with Loewe's logo and a bevy of bag add-ons such as camera-style leather crossbody straps.
At the foundation of Mr. Anderson’s most recent artisanal arsenal of leather goods, inclusive of the Puzzle, Hammock, Flamenco, Goya and Luna, are ceramics hailing from the Eastern hemisphere.
The Chinese Monochrome Collection sees its roots in a cultural mainstay. The luxury label's porcelain-inspired range of single-hued items odes an ancient decorative custom of China's Ming and Qing dynasties.
An educational effort entitled “Colors of Nature” frames its release.
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Commissioned by the house and executed in partnership with a number of art-minded organizations — the Palace Museum, Beijing; the Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Art; and the Zhuyuetang Collection among them — Loewe has procured a roughly 4-minute documentary that showcases the glazed units that inspired the above fashion capsule builds upon. Therein, a strong display of cross-cultural savoir-faire shines.
The brand's unexpected holiday homage emits authenticity in an era where fashion more frequently fights accusations of appropriation (see story).
Instead, Loewe's vision of cultural appreciation is achieved through a curated storytelling exercise.
While many an institution has made attempts to celebrate global heritage (see story), Loewe's latest could provide industry players with a much-needed blueprint for admiration paired with accreditation.
"Messaging is always a tricky proposition in luxury communication - again, a brand like Loewe recognizes that its consumer can unpack deeper meaning and context," Mr. Denman said.
"[Though at a time] where drops are feeling increasingly facile and performative, Loewe’s commitment to craft and deep knowledge of context has always stood out."