14 September 2011

Rag & Bone- Breaking the Mould

Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, the creative pair that is Rag & Bone recently presented their S/S collection at New York Fashion Week, and as usual it was music to their band of loyal follower’s ears. However, it wasn’t only their unique take on layers, purposefully contradicting prints, strong elements of rich, vibrant colours and eclectic mix of fabrics that worked together to create an aesthetic many are calling ‘70s surfer chic, that ensured the collection was such a hit, but a combination of the designer’s true artistic talent and the brand’s unconventional reputation.

Historically, rag and bone was a British phrase for a junk dealing man, but since the label was launched in 2002, this success team have turned the phrase into a well recognised term within the fashion world. Continually at the forefront of the industry, Rag & Bone receives award after award recognising the label and it’s designers for their talent, which was truly validated last year when they were named 2010 Menswear Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

It was Wainwright and Neville’s unconventional marketing concept however, that truly catapulted Rag & Bone to the international success it is today. Instead of hiring coveted photographers, stylists and make-up artist and following the well walked path of most other fashion designers, Wainwright and Neville created the Rag & Bone DIY advertising campaign. In its first season the concept featured Abbey Lee Kershaw, Edita Vilkeviciute, Sasha Pivovarova, and Lily Aldridge, who were all given a selection of Rag & Bone garments and a digital camera and asked to take pictures of themselves, with full creative control. “We have always been very inspired by the girls who do the show,” said Wainwright. “Rather than do what every other brand does and have a high-end photographer take very polished shots, we thought, ‘Let’s flip it on its head to get the girls to take over.’ We wanted it to be very real.” The idea resulted in 1000 of posters, which were downloadable of the Rag & Bone website, being plastered over New York City and no doubt the world.  “It’s about real people and real clothes, clothes that we want people to wear and feel good in,” said Neville.

Now in its second season, the label has recently given fans an exclusive peak at some of the first images of the F/W campaign, which features Karolina Kurkova, shot by Helena Christensen while on holiday in Ischia, Italy.

“It was a magical time because I was here for the Ischia film and music festival. We watched films on an outdoor movie screen just off the sea at night and during the day went sailing, kayaking, swimming in the ocean with my family. It was a perfect place to shoot as it’s a fishing village with lots of charm, character, beautiful views and salt of the earth people.” – Karolina Kurkova, August 2011
Despite their successes and achievements, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, continue to push the boundaries of the fashion world, providing their loyal Rag & Bone followers with outrageous, unpredictable and eccentric, ideas, campaigns and collections. They always leave us guessing.

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