8 posts tagged "Alek Wek"
The Pirelli Calendar turns 50 in 2014. To celebrate, the tire company execs have decided not to create a new edition. Rather, they’re releasing a previously unpublished version, originally slated for 1986, shot in Tuscany and Monte Carlo by none other than the prolific Helmut Newton.
First, some backstory: The calendar has become a mainstay marketing tool for a company that would otherwise have no real link to the überglam sphere of fashion photography (think: Herb Ritts’ 1991 edit, photographed in the Bahamas with the likes of Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss, or Norman Parkinson’s 1985 datebook with Iman in Edinburgh).
It’s with some irony, then, that Newton’s commission was the first to feature direct Pirelli product placement. Prior to 1986, the only connection to the company’s goods was vague (tire tracks seen in Uwe Ommer’s 1984 calendar, for example). When tasked to feature Pirelli’s wheels front and center, Newton eagerly embraced the challenge. The images are chock-full of horsepower.
Pirelli didn’t stop there. The brand commissioned former Pirelli sharpshooters Peter Lindbergh and Patrick Demarchelier to snap a “celebratory” lineup of such models as Karolina Kurkova and Alek Wek, and organized a retrospective, which will be held in the company’s HangarBicocca venue in Milan. The latter will showcase the work of the thirty-plus photographers who have contributed to the calendar over the years.
More so than in any other city, Milan designers and casting directors are known to favor established models over newcomers, but this week we witnessed a slew of fresh faces break through to the front of the pack. Many of the girls who started strong in New York and London
Another thing Milan was previously known for was overlooking minorities, so it was thrilling to see many of our favorite up-and-coming black models, including Firth, Binx Walton (top right), Cindy Bruna, Maria Borges (we never could’ve guessed that she would open Giorgio Armani), and Kai Newman making major strides this week. Newman, who hails from Kingston, Jamaica, positively wowed us at Gucci and Jil Sander. We can’t wait to see her go on to crush it in Paris.
Natalia Siodmiak (top left) is someone who has been making the rounds for several seasons but is suddenly at the top of everyone’s watch lists. After ending London on a high note with turns at Christopher Kane and Giles, the gap-toothed beauty cranked up the sex appeal at Gucci, Versace, and Emilio Pucci, and opened and closed Max Mara. It’s gratifying to see someone who’s been paying her dues finally have a moment. Speaking of moments, who could forget Moschino’s memorable roster of old-school supes, including Pat Cleveland, Alek Wek, Erin O’Connor, Jodie Kidd, and Diana Dondoe? Another runway high point was Liya Kebede and Malgosia Bela walking Emilio Pucci. And, naturally, there’s plenty in store for model-followers in Paris. Just today, iconic Snejana Onopka made a cameo appearance at Anthony Vaccarello, whipping the Fashion Spot forums into a frenzy.
In recent years, fashion designers, casting directors, and model agencies alike have been scrutinized for using underage models. But while the phenomenon is still troublingly widespread, so is a happier trend from the opposite end of the spectrum: the ongoing prominence of the comparatively mature model—which, in the fishbowl of fashion, means north of (gasp!) 29. But beauty, of course, doesn’t end with your twenties. Who can forget the buzz that Naomi Campbell—looking as good as ever at 43—stirred up when she opened and closed Atelier Versace back in July? Throughout the Couture shows were appearances by Yasmin Warsame and Alek Wek at Christian Dior, as well as 30-year-old Chinese super Du Juan closing at Giambattista Valli.
Veteran models fared well at the Fall ’13 shows, too. Carolyn Murphy turned up at Calvin Klein Collection, and Alexander Wang put Malgosia Béla in the lineups for both his namesake collection and his Balenciaga debut. Meanwhile, Tom Ford brought back Liya Kebede and Julia Stegner for his first major runway spectacle, and Miuccia Prada mixed cult favorites—including Kirsten Owen, Liisa Winkler, and Esther de Jong—in with the newcomers at her Fall show. Going into the Spring ’14 season, here’s hoping we’ll see more of these familiar faces return to the runways. At the top of our list is Christy Turlington, who currently stars in Fall ad campaigns for Prada, Calvin Klein, and Jason Wu. Christy, the catwalk is calling you back.
The annual Pirelli calendar—famed for showcasing saucy shots of supermodels in the buff—celebrates fifty this year with a megawatt lineup, including Helena Christensen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr, Alek Wek, Karolina Kurkova, and Isabeli Fontana. But judging by the series of tribute images —reportedly lensed not by the yet-to-be-revealed 2013 calendar photographer, but by Pirelli vets Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindbergh to build hype around the half-century milestone—the calendar’s stars are decidedly more dressed up than usual—well, by Pirelli standards, anyway. The catwalkers were snapped in black lingerie, as well as white shirts and their Skivvies. The full calendar, which has, in the past,been shot by the likes of Bruce Weber, Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Karl Lagerfeld, and Inez and Vinoodh (just to name a few), will be unveiled thisNovember—no word yet if the final images will be more, ahem, stripped-down.
For more than two decades, United Colors of Benetton has pushed the boundaries of fashion advertising, blurring the lines between commerciality and social commentary (for example, in the nineties, they launched ads depicting AIDS activist David Kirby on his deathbed, and in 2011, they ran their UNHATE campaign, which featured an image of President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao kissing). Spring ’13, while perhaps more direct on the fashion front, is no exception. The brand pulled together a group of compelling personalities, like pink-haired Charlotte Free, Sudanese model and activist Alek Wek, Tunisian model Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, and transgender model Lea T, among others, to celebrate color (while wearing Benetton, of course) in personal video interviews and vivid photographs. Above, the brand has shared an exclusive behind-the-scenes image from what looks like a fantastically rowdy campaign shoot, and below, watch Benetton’s candid video with Lea T.
To view more of the campaign, visit www.benetton.com.