Exclusive: Marc New York on Its 50 Shades of Grey Inspired Campaign
The most talked about novel of the year, 50 Shades of Grey, has affected all kinds of people in a multitude of ways. Fans around the country have formed book clubs solely devoted to erotica, and there's been buzz about an upcoming movie for several months now. Rumor has it that plenty of 50 Shades-themed merchandise is in the works, too. In June, The Huffington Post reported that a UK company called Caroline Mickler Ltd was developing everything from "adult products" to "stationery."
Yet, despite the story's rampant popularity, I've yet to see someone reading it. In the past, a simple train ride would tell me what's on the bestseller list—during the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon, every women between the ages of 18 and 45 had a copy. It seems this time, however, everyone has covertly downloaded it to their Kindles and iPads. I haven't actually witnessed any kinky commodities in mainstream culture, either. Actually, it wasn't until I saw Marc New York's new fall 2012 campaign, that I've seen concrete evidence of 50 Shades of Grey's influence on fashion and retail at all.
Featuring former Celebrity Apprentice contestant and Miss Universe 2008, Dayana Mendoza, wearing a grey (obviously!) unzipped wool dress before towel-clad retired Scottish rugby player Thom Evans, the picture was shot in what looks like a bathroom from the film Hostel. The walls are bare and cracked, an industrial looking sink runs water and small windows are visible near the ceiling, as if the two are underground. It's clear that some sort of illicit act is about to occur. In the novel (YES, guys. I've read it, too.) all of Christian and Ana's, um, exploration, occurred in pretty opulent settings. Even that much-mentioned "red room of pain" sounded awfully fancy and expensive. Still, semantics aside, it's the biggest homage 50 Shades homage out there right now. Which, according to the brand, was its exact intention.
"The campaign was directly inspired by the novel itself, but more so inspired by the chemistry shared between Ana and Christian; the same chemistry that is apparent in the shot with Dayana and Thom," Andrew Marc’s Creative Director, Chris Gbur told Lucky. "We wanted the image to convey that place in a relationship when a couple reaches a point of openness where there are no boundaries, where nothing else exist except for the love shared between two people."
It's certainly a photograph I don't think I'll forget soon and I doubt other people will either. What do you think? How long until we see E.L. James' effect on even bigger brands, like Chanel and Prada?