There are quite a few Spring/Summer 2014 campaigns that we have been on the lookout for, but possibly none was so eagerly awaited as that of one of our favorite neo-soul singers, Erykah Badu. While fashion campaigns are unveiled around the world for the launch of their SS14 lines, we are noticing that celebrities are the face of many of these collections. Many were surprised that Italian Designer and Creative Director of Givenchy Riccardo Tisci chose the 90’s hit singer to lead his campaign, and he responded to the raised eyebrows by stating to Style.com: “Erykah, she’s an icon – come on! She’s one of the most stylish women I’ve met in my life. She’s got such a good sense of proportion, of colors.” Tischi’s mind was made up regarding the accuracy of his brand’s representation, and we are happy to see her featured in this campaign!
It’s not surprising that Tisci chose a woman of color to lead his campaign, as he is an advocate of women of color both on the runway and his campaigns and has been for the past 10 years. When asked by Style.com if he thinks the world will catch up to his lead by using more women and men of color in shows and campaigns he states: “I hope so. 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.” And with this statement Mr. Tisci, we salute you! We for one are hoping to see a lot more color on the runway and in ads this year. That would be exciting!
Now back to fashion.
The SS14 is described by Tisci as a clash between two cultures; Japan and Africa. Japan’s fragility and Africa’s drapings are seen throughout the collection in kimono-like silhouettes, draped dresses, matte vs. shine, pastel embroidery and…leather straps. There are pleats, sequins, and jersey material. And open-toe Birkenstock-like sandals. A clashing of two cultures through a mixing of materials and silhouettes is what Givenchy is serving and we are buying. It’s a genius look.
The collection, showcased in September 2013 at New York Fashion week is now being presented to the rest of the world with Ms. Badu’s face along with models Asia Chow of Chinese and Japanese decent, African-American model Eboni Riley, Angolan born model Maria Borges, and the only male model, German’s Dominik Bauer. They are all wearing variations of the collection, one that you may not realize is a part of the same collection on first glance.
Updated: 2/5/13 with additional pics of Erykah:
Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott Courtesy of Givenchy.com.