Behind Steve McCurry’s Valentino Ad Campaign
Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2016 women’s ready-to-wear collection, unveiled last October, references African culture, sporting prints and motifs commonly seen across the continent. So when the fashion house looked to create the collection’s visual campaign, the co-creative directors #Maria_Grazia_Chiuri and #Pierpaolo_Piccioli called upon photographer Steve McCurry, who has made his reputation, over more than 30 years, documenting ancient cultures and traditions.https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/cdn.thepostinternazionale.it/files/uploads/valentino-kenya05-18-01-16jpgorig_main.jpg
The campaign, which was shot over three days last November and first appeared in the February issue of W magazine, was set against the backdrop of Amboseli National Park in #Kenya and included local #Maasai people.
McCurry, whose repertoire of commercial assignments includes a 2011 Louis Vuitton campaign and the 2013 Pirelli Calendar, says he is solicited for commercial jobs “now and then.” His rationale for taking on this assignment was clear: “It’s always fun to work with the best people on the best projects,” he tells TIME. “This is one of the top fashion houses in the world.”http://d2f90oc4xtkvc6.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/valentino-spring-summer-2016-campaign-by-steve-mccurry-2.jpg
Location is usually a key factor for the photographer. “It’s one of the great locations in the world,” he says of Amboseli, “and you have the Maasai, which are amazing people.”
Fashion photography and photojournalism are seemingly at odds, not only for the content but also the practice. Most photojournalists travel alone on assignment, potentially with the help of a guide or translator, but a fashion shoot is “a different animal,” as McCurry puts it, with a large crew involving models, hair and makeup artists and wardrobe stylists. He described the experience as both challenging and stimulating. “You’re presented with the models, the clothes, the location and you have to find a solution to make it work.”
But while the client is typically a guiding influence in the creative direction for ad campaigns, Chiuri and Piccioli handed the reins to McCurry to achieve a more authentic approach. “Our idea was to find not a fashion photographer but somebody that could help to tell a story,” Chirui tells TIME.....