Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Future of Artist/Photographer Collaborations in the Fashion Industry

W Magazine just realeased four new covers for the January 2013 "Art Meets Fashion" issue featuring actress Jessica Chastain. Each cover was a collaboration featuring artists George Condo, Rineke Dijkstra, Mickalene Thomas and Chantal Joffe. I was surprised to see fine art artists like George Condo being asked to photograph for a magazine but actually it seems like a growing trend. 

I think these W covers exemplify a noticeable shift in photographer/artist relationships for publications and brands within the fashion industry. Fine art artists are being asked to photograph and there is more of a push for fine art photographers to photograph ad campaigns. In the same way that celebrities were featured on magazine covers and favored over models, it seems that slowly the fine art photographer or artist is pushing his or her way into the commercial sector and being incorporated into the branding of the publication or brand. 

One great example of this is Bottega Veneta's "Art of the Collaboration".  Their campaigns are photographed by fine art photographers such as Larry Sultan, Nan Goldin, Stephen Shore and Collier Shorr among others. What Bottega Veneta does well is market their ad campaign as an art and fashion collaboration and brands the fine art photographer just as much as the actual clothing itself. They get the artists' name out there when they present the new campaign through behind the scenes videos and press releases that stress this "art collaboration". Another example is Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs. Their ad campaigns always feature their photographers' name (Juergen Teller) on the advertisement itself. 

It is interesting that the fashion industry is starting to shift towards fine art collaborations and I am  interested in seeing how this trend develops and what the implications are for up and coming commercial photographers. Is there room for them in the fashion industry?

W magazine covers taken from here.


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