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2012-07-31 10:00:00.0

EXPLORE THE NEW CAMPAIGN

WELCOME TO OUR ICONIC WORLD OF FASHION

For this Autumn/Winter 2012 season, we’ve asked fashion’s top image makers to come together and create a series of undulating, innovative imagery, meant to bring you one step closer to
fashion’s future.

With the help of renowned photographer Nick Knight (pioneer of live fashion media) and stylist Edward Enninful (of i-D, Vogue Italia and W magazine fame), and an all-star cast of top Chinese models – Wang Xiao, Ming Xi and Xiao Wen Ju – we’re bringing you the very best looks from Azzedine Alaïa, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Lanvin and more.

So what are you waiting for?

Get inspired by the dynamic stills of this season’s most talked about looks, revel in your insider fashion knowledge and, best of all, become iconic.

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THE GIRLS

Chinese models are making massive fashion headway, and what fresher faces than the ones dressing the pages of international catwalks and fashion glossies like Vogue, Bazaar or Love? Meet our iconic girls for Autumn/Winter 2012:
Ming Xi, Xiao Wen and Wang Xiao.

MING XI

This tall, ethereal beauty, Xi Meng Yao or “Ming Xi” hails from Shanghai. You might remember her from our Autumn/Winter 2011 campaign or more recently, Gap’s “Be Your Own T” initiative, but since she’s entered the world stage as a finalist for China’s Elite Model look in 2009, we simply couldn’t get enough of her.

When not modeling for some of fashion’s biggest houses (she walked exclusively for Givenchy haute couture in January 2010), or bouncing around Manhattan with her fellow model friends, you can be sure that she’s off somewhere expressing her inner true self while charming those in her presence, “Ming’s the type of girl that everyone loves!” Xiao Wen tells us.

See more exclusive images of the models on Facebook and Weibo.

WANG XIAO

Originally from Beijing, Wang Xiao is also a devoted New Yorker, where she models full-time with her photographer husband. She’s got penetrating eyes, is known as more elusive of the three, but prefers to keep it that way.

What are the things that she loves? Model Kate Moss, her vintage YSL suit jacket from the Naughties – she also loves keeping her style as simple as possible, “Simple things are fashionable forever,” she says.

See more exclusive images of the models on Facebook and Weibo.

XIAO WEN

Xiao Wen Ju, the quirky Central Chinese native (she calls Xi’an home), now spends her time frolicking the Lower East Side of Manhattan when not jet-setting to work with stylists like Katie Grand or designer Marc Jacobs (she was the face of his Spring/Summer 2011 ad campaign).

As one of the most sought-after Chinese models in fashion, Xiao Wen is not only ranked #22 on Models.com, but takes her work with a serious yet carefree esprit since she started out in Beijing, taking third place in a modeling competition (IMG then snatched her up and relocated her to New York).

“I was so excited when I got the Lane Crawford job,” Xiao Wen tells us, “you guys have the best fashion mix – with beautiful clothes – and always pick some of the very best photographers to shoot it.”

See more exclusive images of the models on Facebook and Weibo .

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ALL ABOUT NICK KNIGHT

Visionary, pioneering, influential and iconic – those are just some of the apt superlatives that are regularly used to describe Nick Knight.

The London-based creative is a fashion industry titan, and if ever there were an industry hall-of-fame, Nick would be our pick for his contributions to fashion – from the very first issues of i-D magazine, to his avant-garde images of designer Yohji Yamamoto, to his moving work with recording artists Björk and Lady Gaga. “Nick always creates exciting imagery, and [for this campaign] an exaggerated sense of colour and proportion,” stylist Edward Enninful says.

Here are some quick facts to get you acquainted with the leader of digitally manipulated fashion photography:

1. He has an Instagram shoot called “Pussycat, Pussycat,” where he shot some of haute jewellery with some top models and felines. Knight thinks the app is really genius, “Instagram takes me back to the style of my earliest photography; no retouching and no long processes of post-production.”

2. Knight first started at i-D as the commissioning photo editor under Terry Jones in 1983. Thirty years later, for Fall 2010, he shot 200 portraits of the most influential fashion and pop culture stars – including his friends Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell – for the anniversary issue.

3. On the future of fashion imagery: “I think photography is dead…none of my children read magazines. Fashion will be shaped by the internet,” he says. And what comes next? “Mobile phones are [becoming] our screens for understanding fashion….”

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EDWARD ENNINFUL

stylist, editor and fashion extraordinaire

Edward Enninful is the penultimate stylist incredible vision. He’s been on the mastheads of the most prominent fashion magazines around the world – now, as Fashion and Style Director of W, and formerly of i-D and Vogue Italia. You may remember him from scenes of American Vogue documentary “The September Issue,” aligning with mega-stylist Grace Coddington, of which, our admiration and affection for him grew.

This Ghanese-born, transnational editor (he splits his time between New York and London) calls the story of our iconic campaign to circulate among three fashion tribes. “From Hard Leather, Tribal Streetwear and Geometrics,” Enninful explains, “I wanted to play with masculine and feminine, and androgyny, which is always a theme that works with Nick and I.”

His top fashion picks for the season? “I choose to make a selection of stockings and gloves as my styling point and to use it throughout…and I’m particularly inspired by the camisole dresses at Givenchy, the printed suits at Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs hats, Balenciaga’s twin sets, and Sacai, who is my hottest young designer,” Edward reveals.

VAL GARLAND

make-up

Bristol-born Val Garland, having travelled the world with make-up kit in tow, has made the aesthetic looks of some of fashion’s greatest catwalks and publications like Vogue, Visionaire and Dazed & Confused.

Originally trained as a hair colourist, she quickly become the leading specialist in Australia (where she moved to) before moving back to London to work for designers like Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Giambattista Valli.

SAM MCKNIGHT

hair

One of the most iconic hair artists in the biz, Sam McKnight first started working for British Vogue in the ‘80s, where he crafted the concept of the “session stylist.”

Having worked with all the top supermodels (from Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bundchen, to Kate Moss), and photographers (from Richard Avedon to Bruce Weber), McKnight has also won the Lifetime Achievement award at the Scottish Fashion Awards, in addition to his being Pantene’s global ambassador.

GLIMPSE BEHIND-THE-SCENES

Want to see the making of the iconic campaign? It was a real labour of love that took place over 36 hours in a far-flung studio of Northwest London.

We were comforted by the sheer presence of Nick and Edward (and the thought of returning to our beds at the lovely Sanderson), and knew that we were right on fashion’s phenomenal pulse.

Watch the exclusive behind the scenes video on Facebook and Weibo.