Balmain’s spring 2016 campaign took extra care in casting this season, which will ultimately set it apart from other seasonal campaigns. Creative director Olivier Rousteing turned to the most well-seasoned women in the industry, rather than casting today’s popular youthful models. With young models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid taking a lot of the spotlight in the fashion scene as of late, it may have become a little bit too easy for everyday fashion followers to remember to keep up with some of the most iconic names in the industry, and Balmain took the initiative to remind everyone in a powerful photoshoot.
Stunning supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Claudia Schiffer were featured in the Balmain spring/summer 2016 campaign wearing clothes from Balmain’s spring collection, and showcased the passion they still clearly have for the modeling industry. With experience comes greater power and passion, and these women are living proof. Models are often revered for their young ages, and unfortunately can be let go once they reach a certain age, but there are some models that can never be let down from their model status, such as those cast in this shoot. They may not be in the spotlight as much as today’s up-and-coming models, but their presence is just as powerful.
Rousteing had his own reasons for casting these particular models for his campaign, which he disclosed in an official statement. “When I was a schoolboy in Bordeaux, it was their editorials that first made it clear to me the amazing transformative power of fashion. Still today, many years on, their iconic images are often found amongst the jumble on mood boards in my (and almost every other designers’) atelier. To say that working with them was a dream come true is no exaggeration.”
As he said, their presence in the industry is the source for a substantial amount of inspiration for designers. Their images will always carry a certain sense of nostalgia that will never die in the industry, especially for those who witnessed the beginning of these models’ careers, like Rousteing.
To set the stage for this campaign, Balmain travelled to a studio in New York City, where Pascal Dangin took charge of creative direction, working alongside Rousteing and photographer Steven Klein to accomplish the perfect setting for this fierce photoshoot. A key decision to this process was the lighting, which was kept dim, on top of the highly editorial black and white photos. Hair stylist Shay Ashual kept the hairstyles simple to let the clothes and models themselves shine, while makeup artist Yadim succeeded with a similar simplistic approach. All of these minimal strategic decisions worked together to create such a powerful impact in the end.
Balmain’s target audience has lately seemed to be the younger crowd, with its collaboration with H&M and blatantly youthful runway shows, but this campaign holds the unexpected promise for a greater range in the brand’s apparel, as these models looked right at home in these loud, yet versatile clothes.
“Looking at them now, I like to think that perhaps someday these shots might also form part of some future designer’s mood board,” Rousteing added. And there’s no doubt he’s right. With the intensity each shot exudes, these photos have probably already served as the source of inspiration since they were released Thursday morning.
Photos courtesy of Balmain