If there is such a thing as fashion heaven, it was the set of David Yurman's fall ad campaign last week. Imagine budding models Arizona Muse and Joan Smalls, styled by Alex White, posing in front of legendary fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh's lens. In a word, epic.
On a sunny Friday morning, we were lucky enough to sneak onto the set at Fraunces Tavern in the Financial District of Manhattan with this all-star team. When we first arrived at the historic tavern, we expected to be intimidated and awestruck, but instead, we felt as if we had walked into a family get together. Both White and Lindbergh have worked with the Yurman clan, who were also on set, for many years.
But though the brand assembled all of their usual suspects, there was one something different about the campaign--New York.
David Yurman has traditionally shot his ads in St. Barths. However, this season, in honor of the brand's 30-year anniversary, he chose to go back to his roots.
“They're such New Yorkers, they’re such New York characters," said David Lipman, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Lipman in a wooden booth at Fraunces. "Their belief is in this city. We’re getting back to what the Yurmans are all about, so there's no pretension to the campaign."
Yurman and his wife Sybil were both born in New York. It's where they met (they used to go on dates at Fraunces, Sybil tells us), raised their family, and it's where each collection is designed and for the most part, produced.
The campaign itself, Lipman says, is "not about the skyline of New York as much as it is about the depth of New York." Since they're celebrating their own origins, the family chose specific locations for the campaign that also have to do with New York beginnings.
There's Fraunces, the oldest building in the city dating back to 1762, and the old stomping grounds of George Washington and soldiers during the American Revolution. The day before, they set up shop in Little Italy and China Town--areas that were given life by immigrants starting a new life in America. (Apparently, Lindbergh photographed Arizona in a neighborhood fish market.)
Another aspect of New York that they garnered inspiration from was the city's diversity. The influence will be apparent in the wide range of colors used in the collection that features updated classic pieces, and in their choice of fresh-faced models over David Yurman campaign vet Kate Moss.
Evan Yurman, who designs the Timepieces, high jewelry, bridal and the men’s collection for the brand, is also working on a New York-inspired collection. He says his pieces will emulate the architecture and feel of the city.
Don't expect the Yurman tribe to jet back to the Caribbean anytime soon. When asked whether they'll continue with the New York theme for the next few seasons, Sybil said without skipping a beat, "Oh absolutely. We're really about New York."
Look for the campaign when the September glossies hit newsstands.