2004 - Giants in the cities
Giants in the cities was a 2004 ad campaign that was both one of my favorites and most hated at the same time. Shot during the partnership with eyewear licensee Moja Design, I had the vision to create a campaign that would speak to our growing expansion into designer fashion around the world. The goal was to create ads that would feature our targeted markets, like these for New York.
The brand was about a year past, shipping the last of the Mojeans urban streetwear collection. And, the designer collection had been absent from New York Fashion Week for a few years. We were looking to firmly re-establish the runway collection after two consecutive seasons of shows.
While watching the shoot, photographed by long-time friend Dimitri Hyacinthe, I noticed most of the shots were close-ups, which cut off parts of the models that I visualized would be needed in the images. I made subtle complaints that we needed more full-body shots, but I was assured everything would work out okay. I didn't want to appear as a chef telling another chef how to prepare his meals, so I laid back and let the shoot proceed. My stomach knotted up as it usually does when I'm not happy with something while trying to keep a good face.
When the images came back, they were great. But, just as I feared, when it came time to bring everything together, body parts of the models often did not extend far enough into the background images of the cities. Still in the early days of photoshop, the images required a great deal of post-work to extend or insert missing limbs. This was another task that I left up to hired artists, and I wasn't happy with the outcome. I could clearly see what I thought were patchy edits. But again, I was assured by my partner and staff at the time; the average person would not notice.
In the end, we spent more money on the creation of the images than we did to promote them. I found that kind of backward. I felt to blame because I didn't assert my instincts, resulting in one of my favorites as well as most disappointing ad campaigns ever.