Colossal 2000s Advertising: The Creative Challenges of the 2004 'Giants in the Cities' Ad Campaign

2000s advertising campaign by African-American fashion designer Maurice Malone features a giant, stylish man in a light gray suit and white shirt, partially unbuttoned to reveal a glimpse of his chest.

"Giants in the Cities" was a 2004 ad campaign that elicited mixed feelings for me. The campaign, created in collaboration with eyewear licensee Moja Design, aimed to showcase our growing global presence in designer fashion. The vision was striking—giant models dressed in our apparel, towering over major world cities like New York. This concept was a bold representation of 2000s advertising, focusing on scale and visibility to capture the essence of urban sophistication.

A striking 2000s advertisement by Maurice Malone features a giant woman in a sleek, black dress positioned dramatically against a backdrop of Paris, with the Eiffel Tower visible in the distance.

At the time, we had just moved beyond the Mojeans urban streetwear collection, and our designer collection had been absent from New York Fashion Week for a few seasons. The objective was to robustly re-establish our runway presence.

Dimitri Hyacinthe, a longtime friend and talented photographer, managed the photo shoot. During the session, I noticed a predilection for close-ups, which unfortunately cut off parts of the models that I felt were essential for the campaign's visual impact. After expressing my concerns and suggesting more full-body shots for greater editing flexibility, the team reassured me that everything would work out.

A Maurice Malone advertisement from the 2000s advertising era, of a giant man standing atop a hill overlooking Los Angeles at night. He wears a light, golden, wool v-neck sweater and black pants with silver crystal stripes at the outseam, embodying a casual yet sophisticated style.
Hesitant to overstep, akin to a chef wary of critiquing another chef's dish, I stepped back, despite the unease churning inside me. When the images were delivered, they were indeed striking, but my apprehensions were confirmed. Merging the models with the cityscapes proved difficult, especially with the then-current limitations of Photoshop and no AI assistance, a common challenge in 2000s advertising.
2000s advertising, shows a Maurice Malone ad of a gigantic woman towering above the New York City skyline, wearing jeans and a flowing gold top and striking poise.

The team at Moja Design assigned freelance editors the task of adjusting and adding missing limbs. Unfortunately, the edits appeared patchy. I could see the flaws clearly and felt I could have done a better job myself. However, I wanted to respect the professionals' roles and not micromanage.

A dynamic 2000s Maurice Malone advertisement shows a woman in a semi-transparent white blouse and black satin pants adorned with crystal-studded stripes, poised above the man in a light wool knitted shirt and trousers.

In the end, the visual production costs of the campaign far exceeded what we spent on advertising the artwork. This financial imbalance was disappointing, and I regretted not following my instincts more closely. It remains a poignant reminder of the importance of trusting one's artistic intuition and the challenges of balancing creative control with collaborative dynamics.

A 2000s fashion advertisement features a giant woman, dressed in Maurice Malone clothing, striking a dramatic pose over the cityscape of Philadelphia. She wears a metallic silver tank top and vivid purple shorts from Malone's 2004 Fall Designer Collection, bending forward in an engaging pose that highlights both the stylish outfit and the urban environment below.

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