You may remember the somewhat problematic spring 2016 ready-to-wear show that Valentino staged. Drawing inspiration from Africa, designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli stated that “the message is tolerance. And the beauty that comes out of cross-cultural expression.” Unfortunately, that got lost in translation, as things got kind of screwed up when it all came to fruition; out of about 90 looks, only 10 were featured on black models, while everyone (including all of the nonblack models) got cornrow hairstyles. If you need more clarification as to why this is an issue, Africa is predominantly made up of black people, and cornrows are a traditionally black hairstyle. So if the team at Valentino wanted to represent Africa, they should’ve at least tried to show their collection on people slightly reminiscent of the majority of those in Africa.
After opening and closing the spring 2014 Valentino show, it was only a matter of time before Malaika Firth starred in the brand’s advertisements. Finally, today’s hottest model has her moment to shine outside of a huge group of other models. While this is only the first photo from what’s sure to be an iconic ad campaign, the Craig McDean-shot image shows Firth looking like a goddess (as always) in a regal red lace dress with gold jewelry. Even more exciting is that this seems like the first time in quite a while that Valentino has featured a black model in their ads, and it’s fantastic to see more diversity not just on the runway, but also in print.
Share your excitement for Malaika Firth’s Valentino ad!
Prada recently released their spring 2014 ad campaign, and let’s just say these shots are a far cry from Miuccia’s sleek and cinematic Miu Miu ads. Shot by Steven Meisel, the images depict a large selection of the spring collection, complete with all of those bright colors, bedazzled bustiers, lavish furs, and cartoonish face-print dresses. Our favorite, Malaika Firth follows up her fall 2013 ads for the house this season, while rising star Anna Ewers follows up her hot Alexander Wang ad with this one. But they’re not alone, as the campaign also includes an extended family of new faces; Julia Bergshoeff, Dorota Kullova, Ashleigh Good, Gracie van Gastel, Amanda Murphy, Viktor Van Pelt, Maggie Jablonski, Lieke Van Houten, Maja Salamon, Ola Rudnicka, Sabrina Ioffreda, Magdalena Jasek, Nastya Sten, Cindy Bruna, Ophelie Guillermand, and Lexi Bolling also round out the extensive cast. Try saying some of those names ten times fast! Or better yet, try remembering some of their relatively forgettable faces…Otherwise, the collection itself isn’t bad. But when put all together at once, these ads could potentially throw viewers into an epileptic fit.
While Miu Miu’s spring 2014 ad campaign features some respectable actresses, and Givenchy and Balmain both tapped iconic singers for theirs, Marc Jacobs’ ad stars a more controversial face: Miley Cyrus. After making every raunchy effort possible to prove that she truly “can’t be tamed,” the former Disney Channel star is seen brooding on the beach alongside models Natalie Westling and Esmerelda Seay Reynolds.
But what’s more surprising than Miley’s appearance is the absence of go-to photographer, Juergen Teller. Teller has been shooting almost every Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs ad for years, but the designer himself told WWD that “he just didn’t want to shoot her.” The “her,” you could probably gather, being Miley…awkward. Juergen Teller did still shoot the MbMJ ads, though, while Sims did a pretty decent job of making the twerkaholic look like a presentable model.
We’re all about the idea that ad campaigns and magazine covers should go to the models; it is fashion, after all. But when those few celebrities who can really wow us have their big fashion moments, we can’t help but stand by and applaud. Case in point: Miu Miu’s spring 2014 ad campaign.
Starring Elle Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, two stars who’ve really started to outshine their more-famous sisters, the campaign proves that there are actually some actresses who have the beauty and the charisma to front a campaign without being too gimmicky. But wait, there’s more! The ads also feature Bella Heathcote and Lupita Nyong’o, the breakout star from 12 Years a Slave who’s been killing it in the fashion world (separate article on her to follow). Shot by Inez and Vinoodh, the shots are meant to correlate with each lady’s stunning sense of personal style.
For his spring 2014 ad campaign, Alexander Wang took us back to high school. His 90’s nostalgia-inspired collection was interpreted through these grungy shots, starring Anna Ewers, the new face who opened Wang’s spring show. Shot by Steven Klein and styled by Karl Templer, Ewers is seen in that “Parental Advisory” t-shirt that’s sure to be a huge hit, just like the ad itself.
Burberry went back to basics for their spring 2014 ads. The first image to debut from the Mario Testino-shot campaign focuses solely on the brand’s iconic trench and check pattern, projected onto a cast that exudes “London cool.”
Said cast comprises of actor Jamie Campbell Bower, musician Leo Dobson, and models Matilda Lowther, Leelan Johanl, and 16-year-old Lady Jean Campbell. Oh, and to the delight of many, promising new face Malaika Firth is following up the success of her debut season with this Burberry advertisement.
Classic, timeless, and starring a soon-to-be icon, there are no flaws to be detected in the latest Burberry ad campaign.
Rihanna wasn’t the only songstress who earned a top-tier fashion campaign for spring 2014. While Olivier Rousteing deemed Riri iconic, Riccardo Tisci said the same about the star of his ad, Erykah Badu. He told Style.com, “Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!” And while Rousteing designed his spring 2014 collection with Rihanna in mind, Tisci created his latest African-Anime pieces with Badu as his inspiration.
Shot by Mert & Marcus, the finished product has yet to debut in full, but it carries something far more significant than just a stunning celebrity. The campaign features only models of color, starring Maria Borges, Asia Chow, and a newcomer named Riley. After constant outrage regarding racism in the modeling industry, most recently and notably from the likes of Iman, Naomi Campbell, and Bethann Hardison, Givenchy’s all-inclusive ad is a great step in the right direction. But Riccardo Tisci shares the same sentiments as many others, as it shouldn’t be such a surprise or special occasion to see women of color in advertisements or editorial spreads. The man who champions Maria Borges, Grace Mahary, Joan Smalls, Lakshmi Menon, and other beautiful non-white models ended his interview with Matthew Schneier by stating the obvious yet essential:
“It’s 2013. Everybody’s being so cool about Instagram, about Facebook, any media—everybody’s being so open. At the end of the day, why are not so many black girls or Latin girls in shows? When you have an American president who is black! When I see this happening, it’s quite sad, I think. People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color.”
Hopefully this same ideology will become more popular in the near future.
If being the “Only Girl in the World” that could pull off wearing a doobie in public didn’t prove Rihanna’s status as a style superstar, maybe the latest turn of events will convince you. The singer may have blown up our Instagram feeds with a slew of Christmas gifts from her designer buddies, but Olivier Rousteing definitely took the cake by making @badgalriri the face of Balmain’s spring 2014 ad campaign. Her own stylist, Mel Ottenberg put the looks together, while Inez & Vinoodh shot the ad.
So why Rihanna? Well, Olivier Rousteing recently spoke to Style.com about the collaboration, explaining their ongoing friendship, which began when she visited (and Instagrammed) his Paris studio. “…When I was working on the Spring collection, I told her she was the inspiration and that I wanted her in the campaign. It all started like that,” the designer elaborates. Rousteing also expressed his admiration for Rihanna’s strength, considering her one of today’s most important fashion icons.
Aside from owning the music charts, Rihanna has evolved into quite the fashion icon throughout her career. Her fashion sense is typically on point, which made some of the scathing reviews of her first collection for River Island so surprising. We can’t exactly say that badgalriri’s crop tops and maxi skirts were the most inspiring fashion pieces, but as always, it’s likely that the superstar doesn’t give a fuck. So, she keeps churning out new designs for the London-based retailer, and they’ve got “Riri” written all over them…literally.
The singer’s nickname appears on many sweatshirts and beanies, which were probably included to remind us that despite the collection’s revealing nature, it is meant for the fall. In addition to the namesake motif, Rihanna threw in some “G4Life” logos, derived from her own song titled “G4L.” There’s also some seasonably appropriate bomber jackets and boots, juxtaposed with all of those bras and belly shirts, along with an uncalled for camouflage cameo. Co-designed with Adam Selman, Rihanna’s fall 2013 collection for River Island is basically just more of her personal style made commercially available. Whether fashion critics like it or not, that style is something that a lot of girls want to emulate, and it’s likely that people will be all over “Riri x River Island.”
The campaign for Rihanna’s fall 2013 River Island collection, shot by Lachlan Bailey and styled by Mel Ottenberg, was directed by Rihanna herself. Meanwhile, it stars Ji Hye Park, Nyasha Matonhodze, Milou van Grossen, Tati Cotliar. Check it out!