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The Rebranding of a Legend

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SEPTEMBER 2012

The people who make it all happen


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The End of an Era, page 18

Table of Contents 18 30 46

FEATURE The End of an Era

FEATURE The Advertisements of SS12

BEHIND THE CAMERA Oscar de la Renta

08 10 12

KNOW THIS NOW Masters of Versailles

PROFILE Picture Perfect and More

THE BREAKDOWN Great Expectations: Mobile Sites

OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 3


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KNOW THIS NOW

Masters of Versailles

For over two decades, the meticulous and audacious imagery created by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin has challenged and inspired the field of fashion photography. Working together since 1986, the Dutch partnership rose to fame in the early 1990s. Experimenting with the latest digital imaging technologies, their early work captured the imagination of art critics, who were mesmerized by the sophisticated interplay of elegance and horror in their images. As their notoriety burgeoned in the art world, the fashion community became equally captivated by early editorial work for British style magazine The Face, which added high-octane glamour to their dark and unsettling aesthetic. Collaborating with Belgian designer Véronique Leroy, they formulated a vocabulary of attenuated predatory figures in hyperreal environments, flying in the face of the prevailing “grunge” movement and signaling the end of that era of fashion 8 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012

photography. Exerting considerable influence in fashion and in art, van Lamsweerde and Matadin are exceptional in balancing successful careers in both. The pair met whilst studying at the Art Academy in Amsterdam and following careers in and around fashion, began working together as formal artists in the early 1990s. Their provocative breakthrough 1993 series “Thank You Thighmaster” and “Final Fantasy” challenged preconceptions about the female form through innovative use of computer manipulations, whilst “The Forest (1995)” seamlessly conflated the features of men and women’s bodies to pose questions about gender and beauty. Starting to trasnlate these challenging techniques into fashion imagery in 1994, van Lamsweerde and Matadin attracted enormous for their sensational editorial for The Face and they instantly began photographing for the most prestigious and progressive magazines.

They are regular contributors to Vogue Paris, Purple Magazine, W Magazine and V Magazine among many others and have created iconic advertising campaigns for leading fashion and fragrance brands including: Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Gucci, Chloé, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Chanel, Robeto Cavalli and Viktor & Rolf Parfum. The pair have also photographed many iconic portraits of key pop culture figures of our day. “Secret Garden—Versailles” was released by Dior, via Youtube, in May 2012. It features an unexpected juxtaposition of the refined, classic location with the modern, grunge sounds of Depeche Mode. Jump cuts flow with the rhythm of the music, and shots vascillate between black and white and color. Of course, the clothing and the models are rendered immaculately beautiful. Every frame functions as an individual breathtaking photograph; these moving stills blend seamlessly to form a stunning piece of time-based art.

images: youtube, christian dior; suprememanagement.com

Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have once again produced gold with Dior’s new video campaign, “Secret Garden Versailles” BY PENNY MARTIN


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PROFILE From top: Miu Miu FW12 photographed by Mert and Marucs; Vogue Italia 2010 photographed by Steven Klein; Versace FW12 photographed by Mert and Marcus

Picture Perfect and More Studio 65, operated by Giovanni Bianco, produces captivating advertisements, as well as editorial and branding work.

Since 1994, Creative Director Giovanni Bianco has dedicated his unique artistic vision to the worlds of fashion, luxury and entertainment. In 2001, he formed Studio 65, where together with a team of artistic minds and innovative spirits, he serves a high profile, multinational clientele. Studio 65 is defined by a true commitment to each brand and individual project, along with the drive to develop unique strategies to enhance the long term growth of each brand. The innovative blend of art direction, design, and top class photography, combined with attention to detail, allows the Studio to deliver the most innovative and exceptional communication service in the industry. High end labels like Versace, Dsquared2, Miu Miu, ‘S MaxMara, Ermenegildo Zegna and Ports 1961 number

only a few of those that rely on the Studio’s expertise to communicate their brands. Over the course of the last decade, Studio65 has witnessed the development of many of these brands and contributed to their growth into successful worldwide names. In addition, Studio 65 is renowned for celebritybranding, having cultivated excellent relations within the entertainment world; culminating in many high-profile collaborations between various talents and brands. Thus Giovanni Bianco and his Studio have successfully used their savoir-faire to collaborate with Madonna on numerous projects since 2004. Current campaigns directed by Bianco include Versace, Versace Jeans, Miu Miu, Brian Atwood, Dsquared2, Emernegildo Zegna, Z Zegna, Vivara, and more.

10 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012

images: giovannibianco.com

BY JOHN SMITH


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THE BREAKDOWN

Great Expectations: Mobile Sites 72% think it’s important for brands to have a mobilefriendly site

67% are more likely to make a purchase if a site is mobile-friendly

61% take their wallets elsewhere if a site isn’t mobile-friendly

Consumers don’t like bad mobile sites, or even worse, brands not even having a mobile site. While 72 percent of consumers think it’s important for brands to have a mobile-friendly site, fully 96 percent have nonetheless come across a site that wasn’t mobile-friendly, according to a Google study published Tuesday. Brands should keep in mind consumers’ mentality when visiting mobile sites. They’re “task-oriented,” said Google’s head of global mobile sales and strategy Joseph Spero. 66 percent of the consumers surveyed said they navigate to mobile sites 12 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012

96%

have been to sites that were not mobile-friendly

55%

said a frustrating mobile experience hurts their opinion of a brand

78%

would like the option to visit the non-mobile site

through a search engine, and 79 percent said they’ll double back to the search engine if the sites they click on aren’t to their liking. In fact, they’re five times more likely to abandon the search altogether if they don’t like what they find. Fifty-five percent of respondents said a frustrating mobile experience hurts their opinion of a brand, but it’s more than a brand’s consumer sentiment that takes a knock. If the site isn’t mobile-friendly, 61 percent said they’ll take their attentions— and their wallets—elsewhere. However, if a site is mobile-friendly, 67 percent of consumers said they’re more likely to make a purchase. Seventy-six percent of consumers said they want to be able to find a company’s location or operating hours. Sixty-one percent said they’d like to click a button to call a company, and 54 percent would like the ability to send an email. And while the user may be visiting a brand’s mobile site, 53 percent said they’d like to be able to download its mobile app through the site. The design should be “quick and clean,” said Spero, so that they’ll want to use it in the future. In fact, 78 percent of respondents said more information from a mobile site should be only a click or two away. The same percentage said the site’s search bar should be easy to find and use. While it should be obvious, 76 percent stressed that the site’s site should fit the screen. Although respondents emphasized the importance of a mobile-friendly site, 74 percent said they’d like the option to visit the non-mobile site if they want to.

source: sterling brands, smithgeiger

Google conducted a survey involving 1,088 US adults aged 25–54, 40 consumer’s mobile journals, and a 32–customer focus group. BY TIM PETERSON


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The End of an Era Changes are being positioned by YSL as “restoring the house to its truth, purity and essence—and taking it into a new era” while “respecting the original principles and ideals,” according to the trade. The new branding is expected to be introduced by the time the Spring 2013 collections hit stores. BY DHANI MAU

T

omorrow, Hedi Slimane will unveil his first full ready to wear collection for YSL, which will now be called Saint Laurent. But since we still have little to go on in terms of actual design from Slimane, his rebranding of the storied label has been the main topic of conversation. Despite the fact that news of YSL’s name and branding changes broke over three months ago, the fashion obsessed can’t seem to get over it. When YSL’s rebranding strategy was first announced, people seemed to instantly have

an abnormally strong (and mostly negative) reaction to it, taking to Twitter and Facebook to articulate their shock that newly appointed creative director Hedi Slimane would change the name of such a historic, iconic maison. But even after the fashion house explained the reasoning behind the brand overhaul, which actually pays tribute to the brand’s original name and logo, people were still pissed. Comments on Facebook ranged from “SHAME ON YOU HEDI,” to admonishments that the new logo would “ruin a legacy, an

empire, and a legend [in] the industry.” We hear that people at Saint Laurent were very surprised by the backlash. Slimane, for his part, told Vogue Paris that he found the criticism “interesting” and reiterated his intent to return to the original branding. So, in theory, it’s not that big of a deal. Except it was, to seemingly everyone. But, why? We spoke to some branding experts to try to better understand why everyone reacted so strongly. Were we right to be upset, or was the reaction disproportionate

OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 19


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Very few other prestigious brands include their place of origin in their names. Instead, they assume an informed customer base— one who either knows their brand for its products or image, or one who is educated enough to guess that “Giorgio Armani” is Italian and “Christian Lacroix” is French. “Saint Laurent Paris” implies a much less sophisticated audience. If the objective is to revive the 1960s look and feel, why not simply use “Rive Gauche,” in homage to the 1966 YSL line, “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche” (and the eponymous boutique on the Place Saint Sulpice)? Adding “Paris” is just, well, gauche. But since we still have little to go on in terms of clothing, Slimane’s branding has been the main topic of conversation. Rock n’ roll inspired campaign images have been rolling out slowly, and now that YSL is about to open a new store–the design of which has been overseen by Slimane–we have a lot to talk about! WWD has all the details on “the first unit in the world to reflect a new floor-to-ceiling store concept developed by Slimane, who is applying a 360-degree makeover to the mythic fashion house,” and with them more details on the company’s plans for what is clearly a complete brand overhaul. Here’s everything we learned from the trade’s exclusive interview with YSL president and chief executive officer Paul Deneve: With Slimane, he has high ambitions for the brand, like catapulting it to the scale of Chanel and Dior. “We’re preparing to revolutionize fashion again, as Mr. Saint Laurent did in the Sixties.” They plan to open 15 stores and shop-in-shops per year, all “under the Saint Laurent Paris banner.” “Very rapidly, we will see the overall store network evolve.” Following Shanghai will be stores in Berlin and then Paris. What the deal is with that Mercer street store, we do not know, but it’s around the corner from our office so we’ll keep our eye on it. Inspiration for the store design included the French Art Deco and Union des Artistes Modernes (French Union of Modern Artists) movements. The stores will look like mirrored, marble-y mazes, if WWD‘s photos of the Shanghai unit are anything to go by. Key materials include “black and white marble, raw concrete and Thirties-esque display furniture with gold, silver, mirror and glass.”

images: yves saint laurent logo, hdicon.com

because this is fashion, and merely re-purposing the old logo wouldn’t do, there are a few changes–mainly they did away with the color-blocking and went with a simpler, cleaner version. So, now the question is: Which logo do you like better? Do you think the brand’s recent overhaul gives the old logo a new lease on life–or do you think they should have stuck more exactly to the original? YSL has been bombarded with complaints from dissatisfied fans after unveiling the new Saint Laurent Paris logo. The brand shared a photo of a box bearing the new logo on their official Facebook page—which, despite receiving over 3,000 likes, has attracted a slew of negative comments. “Hard to believe such a poor decision has been made, which can only damage the brand,” said Chris Dickman, while Molly McGlew adds: “This is so boring and genuinely disappointing.” “Go back to the old logo, the new one lacks imagination,” comments Adi Elias. “I’m not a fan of the new logo, but I can see what the brand was aiming for,” adds Lucy Geremin. “But I really do think the Yves or Y was quite important and iconic. The new logo doesn’t represent the same brand to me.” But not everyone shares the same view: “What Hedi proposes is both new and old,” comments Nick Byrne. “YSL and the full name in the same script were only used for Haute Couture. The ready-to-wear used the same typeface which Hedi has proposed.” “Very fresh, modern, contemporary...of the moment,” adds Ian Edwards. It speaks of an austere, inconspicuous, but highly elegant luxury.” Anticipation is building for Hedi Slimane’s Paris Fashion Week debut, set for October 1. Even Lady Gaga is excited. People who may have never owned anything from the YSL brand are finding themselves feeling sad and nostalgic. But why? For Slimane, this could all be some kind of performance art, extending the spectacle of the runway to a larger, and longer, exhibition of the brand itself. He could argue that announcing a new name is a gesture toward Saint Laurent’s trademark penchant for controversy—pants for women, ready-to-wear clothes, black models, perfumes called “Opium,” and so on. Whatever the explanation, the practical gains would be tons of publicity—for both the brand and Slimane himself—and broad crowdsourcing, all at virtually no cost. “Saint Laurent Paris” is a risky choice. To begin with, distancing the brand from its namesake—the man who truly personified its style and vision—could alienate longtime loyal customers. Few brands have a compelling and iconic ambassador, and the ones that do (Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren) celebrate rather than downplay them. Adding “Paris” to the brand name is equally questionable because it takes the brand down-market. Firmly established in the small and exclusive canon of haute couture, YSL would compromise that status by heavy-handedly pointing out its flagship location.


FEATURE

This page: 1960s advertisement for Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, which displays the YSL ready-towear logo of that time. Below:

images: yves saint laurent logo, hdicon.com

YSL Haute Couture logo

OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 21


images: yves saint laurent logo, hdicon.com

FEATURE

22 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012


FEATURE

Saint Laurent Paris FW12 ad campaign, photographed by

images: yves saint laurent logo, hdicon.com

Hedi Slimane


An image from YSL’s website. The domain name is ysl.com, but the site’s header contains the new Saint Laruent Paris l0go.


Photos taken by Hedi Slimane, which can be found on his personal blog, hedislimane.com

By January 2013, all aspects of the new brand identity– including the clothes–will be complete and in stores. Slimane might return the brand to couture at some point. “It could be a natural step, but no timetable has been defined,” Deneve said. As for YSL’s successful must-have accessories, the Cabas Chyc bag and Tribute shoes will carry over, but have been “upgraded and reworked.” The new ready to wear, which presently accounts for the smallest percentage of YSL’s sales, will feature a wider price range in hopes of attracting “new, younger clients.” Reorganization and upgrades behind the scenes in areas like production, product development and merchandising, have been implemented as well. Deneve describes the whole process as “intense.” “Hedi has set very high standards,” he said, “and expects people to meet them. He has such a clear vision, from Day One, about where he wants to go.” Meanwhile, Slimane has not abandoned his photography career. In addition to shooting an ad campaign for his own brand, he shot Sky Ferreira’s latest EP cover and some photos of Grimes recently appeared on his blog. Perhaps we’ll be seeing them in some SLP pretty soon? Hit minctatur sitinciatisi aut aut dolorem qui aut qui blatiissunt occaern atessum fuga. Itam volorum quo tem quatia volendel il et at rendam vent quuntius dessit, untis niendae ctatur sae auta qui abo. Ibus nime rae aut ma consenit lamusa natiusc iuntem que rehent ommodipid quo corrum nus eum as veraecus sequunt estrum quoditat eatem rest porit aditasped magnimuscia invelib usanimet quae pere sant vent quo bea siminumque sam sint ipit deles cuptat. Ma enimaior arum inias nos ea nusam, sit voluptassus magnimilique poritatio duci repreni mendias ditatint iumet quias maximint adistota venis volorpo ssequaspe aut et minum es rem eic tem exernam quia ipsanim int anditiis magnimo lorepta quassequam quis reperfe roribus, nonetur, ommodissinte pedite consent iusapis autate il magnisquunt essimi, eius, ent pa niminci liquia nonsed qui re reptatur rae sam aut et, aliquam quatur repta distet alitiis vide corporenem et venihit lam ipsandi nimpereperum volorectat. Obistium, nem qui vellestiate dolorescil in repelest quam ea quam, ommodi aut volest ut lam que pellace sequam faccum faccum fugit fugia doluptatiam et que corepud iorerori as aliquis ad quist, sitem es quidis secae nonsed moluptur mint estissequam faccae del ipsaeceperia dersped quis rerrovitis dest quiduci aspeditat que vere core sin reius explabo ressinc iderunt invendit de volliquo to quati aut ut ero cuptat omnihicia sed ut destrum seditas imolupture cus minctem quas ipsant officia conserum laborum enim hil ipsant quundam quos ex eosseni sollaut erro quiam volore sum quam sani iur sit aliquibusdae plabor repelendeni dus es doloriae. Nam dollorpost min cullandant fuga. Itat re pra volorum la dem in reri conseca tquuntiore perem ut et ipisitatem abo. Nemporpores doluptiumque vel ipsandit plitati onecesto OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 25


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30 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012


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OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 31


Photographer Glen Luchford

Make-Up Artist Val Garland

Hair Stylist Kevin Ryan

Model Daria Strokous Janice Alida

image: lebook.com

Advertising Agency In-House

32 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012


Photographer Tim Walker

Make-Up Artist Val Garland

Stylist Edward Enninful

Production And Production

Set Design Andy Hillman

Hair Stylist Malcolm Edwards

Model Frida Gustavsson Lindsey Wixson

image: lebook.com

Advertising Agency House+Holme

OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 33


Photographer Giampaolo Sgura

Retoucher Digital Area SRL

Photo Studio Studio 54

image: lebook.com

Advertising Agency In-House

34 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012


Photographer Willy Vanderperre

Stylist Olivier Rizzo

Model Natasha Poly Daria Strokous

image: lebook.com

Advertising Agency House+Holme

OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 35


Photographer Viviane Sassen

Make-Up Artist Gemma Smith-Edhouse

Hair Stylist Christian Eberhard

Model Marique Schimmel

image: lebook.com

Advertising Agency In-House

36 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012


Photographer Glen Luchford

Stylist Suzanne Koller

Creative Director Ezra Petronio

Make-Up Artist Aaron de Mey

Hair Stylist Recine

Model Karmen Pedaru Kate King

image: lebook.com

Advertising Agency Petronio Associates

OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 37


Photographer Miles Aldridge

Make-Up Artist StĂŠphane Marais

Stylist Jean Paul Gaultier

Set Design Fabienne Eisenstein

Model Agency Elite Model MGMT

Hair Stylist Guido Paulo

Model Alana Zimmer Constance Jablonski

image: lebook.com

Advertising Agency In-House

38 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012


Photographer Mert Alas Marcus Piggott

Art Director Riccardo Tisci

Stylist Carine Roitfeld

Model Gisele B端ndchen Mariacarla Boscondo Chris Moore Simone Nobili

image: lebook.com

Advertising Agency In-House

OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012 39


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BEHIND THE CAMERA

Oscar de la Renta

images: lizzie Tonkin; oscardelarenta.com

A behind-the-scenes shot from Oscar de la Renta’s recent editorial shoot, styled by head of PR Erika Bearman (a.k.a. OscarPRGirl), and exclusive to the web.

46 OPUS MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER 2012


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