January 22, 2020
Prada-owned Miu Miu is putting a painterly touch on its spring/summer 2020 collection with a campaign that centers on an imagined all-female artist colony.
Set at the Casa Corberó outside of Barcelona, a campaign film invites consumers to be a fly on the wall to witness a different type of “woman’s work” as models are shown engaged in creation. The focus of the collection and campaign is freedom of self expression, inviting consumers to be their own artist.
"There’s something endearingly perverse about splattering paint across pristine florals – classic Miu Miu," said William Richmond-Watson, founder/chief creative officer of Watson & Company, New York. "Using seemingly tattered knitwear and mismatched buttons for a high-fashion collection is additionally cheeky and challenges what we think of as luxury.
"This piece conveys everything Miuccia Prada wants to get across," he said. "Luxury is what you make of it."
Mr. Richmond-Watson is not affiliated with Miu Miu, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Miu Miu was reached for comment.
Artists in residence
Miu Miu’s spring/summer collection featured a number of crafty elements, including paint-splattered fabrics and mismatched buttons, which called to mind homemade garments. Many of the designs include pinafores or aprons, resembling traditional outfits worn to work around a house.
Taking this idea into the corresponding advertising campaign, Miu Miu has chosen to depict a cast of models creating works of art that relate to creative director Miuccia Prada’s designs.
In the film, set to Siouxsie And The Banshees’ track “Happy House,” model Lila Moss sits perched on a staircase drawing in a notebook. Below her on the floor are a plethora of art supplies, including paintbrushes, cloths and palettes.
Another scene finds model Bella Hadid grabbing a large paintbrush and embellishing a piece of cloth with abstract modern flowers. During the process, she gets her hands and wardrobe dirty as she transitions from neatly painting to splattering color atop the canvas.
Other faces are shown strutting around the grounds.
Miu Miu's spring/summer 2020 campaign
The backdrop for the campaign is Casa Corberó, a nine-building estate that is the home of Catalan sculptor Xavier Corberó. The setting itself is a work in progress, having been under construction since 1968.
Mr. Corberó’s property serves as both a residence and a studio space and art gallery.
"The Miu Miu look is expertly utilitarian yet sensual, and while I think this campaign successfully delivers on that expectation, it also speaks to making the idea of luxury abstract," Mr. Richmond-Watson said. "Miuccia Prada has put a twist on the conventional ever since making nylon high-fashion because women can do, be and wear whatever they want."
Art meets advertising
Others in the luxury business have sought to put attention towards women-created art through marketing and initiatives.
French fashion house Christian Dior drew attention toward its spring/summer 2018 collection with an artistic campaign.
For the season, the label’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who was a friend of designer Marc Bohan during his days at the helm of Dior. Taking reference from this muse, Dior’s campaign put the focus on female-produced art (see story).
French conglomerate Kering recently furthered its discussion of women in the arts through a philanthropic publishing partnership.
“Great Women Artists,” published by Phaidon, charts the work and stories of 400 artists over the course of 500 years. Around the launch of the book, Kering teamed up with Phaidon and Artspace to debut a series of prints to raise money for a female-focused cause (see story).
There is still a gender gap in the art world. A report from Art Basel and UBS found that there is a discount of about 50 percent on female-created artwork at auction, and only 38 percent of the artists represented by galleries in 2018 were women.
"Especially for brands like Miu Miu, whose audience may skew younger opposite sister brand Prada, their creations have paramount influence on younger generations who look to luxury fashion for inspiration, which then manifests in their own lives," Mr. Richmond-Watson said. "Younger consumers can take to heart anything these powerful fashion houses create, and so constant, artful lessons – subtle or not – on egalitarianism, challenging the status quo and sustainability are ever critical."