It’s always fascinating when the lens is turned on non-model types, even more so when they are fashion legends in their own right, so what a refreshing delight to see that this was the idea behind Louis Vuitton’s latest spring/summer spot. The French fashion house hand-picked Annie Leibovitz to appear in its Core Values campaign and although the portrait photographer renowned for her artsy shoots was initially hesitant, she sure poses like a pro.
With the caption, 'The journey of a star, captured in a flash,' the campaign encapsulates Leibovitz’s legacy as the world’s highest-paid snapper and the scene gives us an intimate insight into her genius. According to Vuitton’s communication director Antoine Arnault, 'She's a real, pure, 100 per cent artist. We've always been very committed to her, to her talent… She just gets in [her subjects'] souls.'
It’s no surprise that Leibovitz has been tapped once again by the luxury brand after she previously designed a signature Louis Vuitton backpack with matching shoulder bag as well as lensing their Core Values ads – and besides, Leibovitz can’t afford to be picky since her well-documented money problems. But despite her $24 million debt, she insisted that she use the fee to hire a famous face to appear alongside her for the self-portrait. So who did she chose? Maybe current face of the brand, Lara Stone, or even Madonna with her legs akimbo? Nope, the honour went to her longtime friend Mikhail Baryshnikov, a legendary ballet dancer better known to Grazia Daily as Carrie Bradshaw’s Russian lover, Aleksandr Petrovsky. *Swoon*
In the shot, Leibovitz looks pensively from the floor of her New York studio (sitting rather than sprawling for this one), gazing up at her barefooted subject in a 'moment of quiet and calm'. Note the brimming monogram bag at her side, which has presumably been pretty handy for lugging all that photo equipment around in its three-year life span as the artist’s personal tote. Oh, how we love a good behind-the-scenes peek, especially when the roles are reversed. So what’ll be next? We have our bets on Daisy Lowe, fashion photographer.
- Jessica Vince