Victoria's Secret may host a blowout runway show and La Perla may have been the intimates brand of choice for Blair Waldorf, but with frequent editorial placement and high-powered ad campaigns starring the likes of Naomi Campbell, it's Agent Provocateur that seems to have the most fashion industry cred.
The brand's spring 2017 ad campaign is bound to be another fashion favorite. Starring model-of-the-moment Andreea Diaconu and shot by the legendary Mario Sorrenti, the collection is classic AP: sexy florals and bright colors inspired by, amongst other things, '70s surf and exercise culture — oh, and iconic foot-fetish photography.
"Mario sent over some images, and he started talking about his ideas; there were all these Elmer Batters images, and I'm a huge Elmer Batters fan, I have loads of Elmer Batters books," creative director Sarah Shotton says, referring to the pioneering foot-fetish photographer. "That's how we got to shooting it in that kind of style, and I think it's really amazing, the colors and the richness of it, and it's very sexy but also very iconic."
It's the second time the brand has shot with Sorrenti, following last fall's sultry black-and-white campaign starring Abbey Lee. Shotton says AP was ready to move in new direction after CEO Fabrizio Malverdi came to the company last May. "We looked at all the imagery we'd been doing in the past, and it was very AP and very iconic, but we wanted to do something that was less intimidating, less aggressive, maybe a softer approach and very sensual," she explains.
Sorrenti was at the top of her list of photographers to work with, so bringing him back for the spring campaign was a no-brainer. Because the campaign would require some, er, unconventional poses, the pair looked for a model with flexibility — both literal and physical. Sorrenti had worked with Diaconu, who had also featured heavily on Shotton's moodboards. "She's so gorgeous, isn't she?" Shotton gushes.
The result is a campaign that is classic Agent Provocateur, a mix of high fashion and fetish that only they could pull off. Shotton says the key to her design process is pushing the boundaries, delivering a sophisticated design in unexpected textures. Sex has always had a place in fashion, of course, but nowhere quite like AP.
"I have got away with putting things on the shop floor that most lingerie brands couldn't get away with, but I probably designed them in a way that's much more fashion oriented," she says. "Sometimes some things come in that you're just like, we can't put that in, it's too boring or it's just gone too far, it's too kinky. It is a real fine line and you have to be watching it all the time."
"But I quite like kinky things, so that makes it easy for me!"
On that note, check out Agent Provocateur's spring 2017 campaign below.