July 25 2014

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Rupert Sanderson: Snake Charmer


Rupert Sanderson Spring '14

It’s no secret that designers have been looking to the animal kingdom for inspiration these days. But Rupert Sanderson’s approach is more literal than anything we’ve seen thus far. The footwear designer and his team decided to try something a bit daring for his Spring ’14 campaign, and enlisted live snakes to star in the ads.

Debuting exclusively on, the snaps depict a rainbow of snakes gliding over models’ feet and slithering up their legs. Truth be told, our first reaction was simply…yikes. But rest assured, no models (or snakes) were harmed in the making of these ads. “In the first shot, there was a lot of screaming!” Sanderson said. “But as the day progressed, everyone became so used to having the snakes around. It was more about their silhouettes and the graphic shapes they were making than the snakes themselves.”

To provide a glimpse of the snakes in action, Sanderson also created a behind-the-scenes video of the campaign (below). “We wanted something dynamic and fascinating to watch,” he said. An especially alluring clip portrays a black-, white-, and red-striped snake coiled menacingly around a model’s foot. But you know the old saying: Red touches black, you’re OK, Jack.

Rupert Sanderson’s Spring ’14 collection and campaign will launch in February 2014. For more information, visit

Photo: Eddie Wrey

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