PR-TAY IN THE USA
Stepping off the plane at around 4pm seemed surreal, having flown just shy of 11 hours from the UK, especially as I left just before 1pm the same day – the stark reality of a transatlantic flight from the grey, hubbub of Manchester to the sunny sights of LA.
My trip, before you ask, was to attend the upcoming autumn/winter 2019 photo shoot for long-standing Brazen PR client Jockey, who we’ve worked with for 15 years.
Famed for its American apparel clothing and underwear, Jockey has a rich history that began in 1876 with Samuel T. Cooper, who manufactured socks for lumberjacks. It designed the first Y-Front® Brief in 1935 and continues to be one of the top selling underwear brands globally, sold in over 147 countries.
The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the structure and format of the photo shoots, and how the clothing, which before this point we’d only seen either in line drawings or as part of a range review meeting, could be brought to life.
Stylised lifestyle photography has, and always will be, at the heart of fashion. Ultimately, you’re not just selling clothes, you’re selling the lifestyle and story they portray. Therefore, working with the right photographer, with the right models in the right location is key.
The images also form the foundation for collection reports, look books, look sheets i.e. all the materials we as PRs have in our arsenal to sell the ranges to media and capture their attention.
The photo shoot took place over two days in two distinct locations in Los Angeles. Each was chosen for its unique design, layout and outlook. Different textures, finishes and stylings all help to craft the story and provide a dialogue or narrative behind the images being shot. Whether a quaint open-plan living room setting for luxurious loungewear, or a harsh, arid landscape juxtaposed against sleek, modern sportswear.
The first, simply known as “Bohemia 2”, was a rustic retreat nestled on a very tight, windy road in the heart of the Hollywood Hills. It’s wood-clad/brick façade made for the perfect backdrop, and it’s retro interior styling simply added to its charm. The owner, a musician and DJ, had the most extensive vinyl collection I’ve ever seen, and played a medley of tracks that created a special soundscape for the photo shoot.
Sloped gardens and quaint swing seats added contrast and movement to the shoot, as well as a certain vibrancy and intrigue to each shot. This year, the theme included a lot of shadow overlay – a stylistic technique to add depth, as well as play with colour and dimensions.
Photo shoot two was a whole different ball game – yes, I speak American now. Set atop a mountain in Malibu, this modern desert home provided stunning views of the valleys below and mountain ranges in the distance. Its open interior was a cool contrast to the day before, with stone floors, sleek marble surfaces and a dedicated Porsche Carrera GT garage – I kid you not – it was evident the absent owner loved only two things: his Porsche and his two poodles.
Shots by the pool and against the floor-to-ceiling windows of “Diehl Estate” were unlike anything I’d seen before – yes, it was my first fashion shoot, but you get what I mean! Plus, the rugged, outdoorsy landscape made shooting more active clothing a dream, hinting of mounting treks and off-road biking.
The true stars of the show – and I’m not talking about the four models, who were simply the most beautiful people I’ve ever met in real life – were the new AW19 lines. This year more than any before, Jockey International’s lead designer, Jens Noll, took on an edgy, urban approach to his work. Long gone were the homespun, all-American-esque silhouettes and everyday staples – before us stood modern day Jockey.
Always leading the way with innovative fabrics and styles, this season the focus was on athleisure/activewear. The new pieces combined a contemporary style and innovative design that it’s hoped will appeal to both sexes.
Ultimately, I guess we’ll have to wait until the new lines are on sale next year to see if you agree or not – but if you do be sure to #showyourjockey with pride!
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