Starring models Vittoria Ceretti and Janis Ancens, the Rebirth video depicts the constant changes in life as the two protagonists stand still through the movement of light and objects — thousands of flowers fill the room, representing the rebirth of life, a dreamy state of nostalgic memories and the naiveté of childhood.
This is the fourth chapter of Bottega Veneta‘s new ad campaign for Spring/Summer 2018. In a revolutionary first, creative director Tomas Maier teams up with famed art director Fabien Baron to reboot The Art of Collaboration and in turn, overhaul the industry’s approach to ad campaigns with an anthology of six films titled Reflections. Each film is released episodically throughout the season.
No photographer is involved — still images are extracted from the films for print, thanks to specially customised lenses for Panavision’s new Millennium DXL 8K camera. Maier and Baron share more in the following interview.
What drove the inspiration of the films?
Fabien Baron (FB): It really evolved over time. We were thinking about how to translate the brand values of Mystery and Surrealism in storytelling through the lens of Tomas’s vision. There’s a tension in what Tomas does, that’s probably why there’s tension in the films. We want people to feel something when they see the films. It’s not a sensation that you usually have when you look at something fashion.
This campaign is a continuation of the Art of Collaboration. How has the meaning of collaboration evolved?
FB: I think the Art of Collaboration concept is alive but in a different way. As an agency, we made sure to establish a vocabulary that represents what the brand stands for and that the talent that come and join the collaboration support it and don’t reinvent the vocabulary. At the end, we are talking about Bottega Veneta. That’s why we also kept everyone’s names only as initials.
You directed the films and you also carefully selected the team of collaborators. Can you talk about that process?
FB: I chose Philippe Le Sourd as the director of photography. He worked on Wong Kar-Wai’s “The Grandmaster” and Sofia Coppola’s film “The Beguiled.” His lighting is very cinematic, which suited Reflections but he also understands style and fashion. I have worked with him many times before and it felt like a natural fit. He understands color and the flow of fabrics well. All of these things make a difference. The set designer Stefan Beckman has an amazing taste level, and he got into what we were trying to say for the brand. The models were also considered collaborators.
The models in the six films play a crucial role — more as actors than models. How did you approach the casting?
Tomas Maier (TM):We’ve worked with Vittoria [Ceretti] for such a long time. She’s a young Italian woman who is beautiful, smart and stylish. She’s the perfect embodiment of Italian luxury. Janis Ancens has walked in many of our shows. He’s modern but has a natural elegance. You can put him in the clothes and he brings them to life. I like Sora Choi because she can put on a look and really make it her own, just as Aube [Jolicoeur] who is striking and has a lot of presence. I also like that they come from around the world: Korea, Latvia, Italy, Haiti. It’s very much us.
You’ve spoken before about the need for luxury brands to keep their digital content elevated. Was that a consideration in the format of this campaign, which provides exciting new content throughout the season?
FB: Oh definitely. Digital is supposed to be quicker and faster but you still need to represent the brand and what it stands for: high-quality luxury. You have your story at a certain level, and you have your visuals at a certain level. That’s the way it was with print. Then digital came in and everything was permitted. Now we can show the backdoor of everything. That’s okay but you still need the dream factor. I think the films of Reflections are at the level of a feature movie—in product, talent and special effects—but there are layers. You can consume it in different ways.
Find out how the cinematic approach works for Bottega Veneta in our March 2018 issue.