If you’re outside of the advertising industry, it can be hard to see an advertisement as anything other than marketing material. Viral videos can resonate and timely memes can slip brands into one’s brain, but the fact remains; not only does a lot of imagination go into the world of advertising, sometimes there’s a lot of artistry as well. This is evident in the latest Cole Haan ZerøGrand campaign, Prepare for Takeoff. From location to talent, and ultimately the images captured, it’s a confluence of magnificent artistry—with staged photos worthy of the art world.
For some of us at CH, there’s no piece of architecture more resonant than Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center. Future-forward to this day, it touches upon the notions of art and travel, imagination and movement. While Saarinen’s fluid design work may have made its greatest universal impact on the St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, there’s no questioning the merit of his flight terminal. And it happens to be the location for the Prepare for Takeoff shoot.
To draw further from the notion of human flight, Cole Haan cast New York City Ballet stars Sara Mearns, Megan Fairchild and Gretchen Smith, as well as two celebrated Parkour athletes—each adorned in ZerøGrand footwear. From there, photographer Sebastian Kim captured moments in time. From the balletic, athletic poses and positioning, to the balance of figure and space, two messages are conveyed: lightness and flexibility. While these are two pillars of the product, they also make for pretty engaging photographs.
Video and images courtesy of Cole Haan