Oliver Peoples announced that they have aligned with acclaimed photographer and aspiring director, Lisa Eisner, to create its 2011 campaign. The luxury eyewear house has an established reputation for producing spirited short films, combined with still photographs, that bring to life the collection each season.
In a departure from the past two seasons of lighthearted fantasy story lines, this season’s campaign premise is of a more provocative nature. Starring real life couple, Devendra Banhart and Rebecca Schwartz, the focus is an exploration of intimacy and sexuality, in a contemporary Southern California setting.
From behind the lens, photographer Lisa Eisner began her career in the 80’s as a fashion editor at Mademoiselle and American Vogue magazines, where she worked with the leading fashion photographers of the time. In the late 90’s, after more than 15 years in fashion, she decided to focus on her own photography. Since then, she has published two influential books of her own work, “Rodeo Girl” (1999) and “Shriners” (2004), and has contributed to numerous publications, including New York Times Magazine, Paris Vogue, Vanity Fair, W, Harpers Bazaar and Travel & Leisure.
Devendra Banhart is a diverse artist. Best known for his musical career, Banhart exploded onto the international music scene in 2002. In addition to his own albums, he has recorded a wealth of collaborations, including material with Beck, MGMT, Phoenix and Oasis. In tandem with his musical accomplishments, Banhart is also an established and renowned visual artist. His distinctive, often enigmatic drawings have appeared in prominent galleries and shows throughout the world, such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and the Art Basel Contemporary Fair.
“Devendra has a discoverable quality that completely aligns with our brand’s core values,” said Michelle Walnum, Senior Director of Marketing and Brand Communication. “Just like Oliver Peoples, if you have discovered him, you know how fascinating and genuine of an individual he is.”
Banhart’s true-life love interest, Rebecca Schwartz, is a flourishing set designer. A native of Los Angeles, her adoration of all things visual and her appreciation of assembly drew her to creative design.
“We really wanted to find a couple who were in love and would allow us to be voyeurs in their relationship. Most people are not interested in having their intimacy on film. Devendra and Rebecca were beyond perfect, beautiful and fun together. They were not pretentious or guarded – they were real!”
The love affair is explored at the location of the one-of-a-kind masterpiece by architect John Lautner: the Rainbow House. Recognized for the distinctive shape of its arched clear-span roof and stained glass windows on both sides, the home, built in 1961, is an example of authentic contemporary California living. The indoor/outdoor setting proved to be a perfect atmosphere to showcase the natural chemistry of the young, intriguing couple.
“For our 2011 campaign, I envisioned a sensual experience for the onlooker – something truly sexy. But I wanted a sincerity that could only be achieved through a basis in reality,” says Walnum. “Lisa’s eye for pure beauty and her ability to capture it, along with Devendra and Rebecca’s authentic sexuality, created a distinct vibe that was completely natural and unforced – not unlike the design of our eyewear. Additionally, I wanted to set the piece within a typical contemporary cool So Cal setting, in this case Lautner House, since this resonates with our brand’s DNA being from here.”
The Oliver Peoples 2011 campaign will debut in October. The short film will be released in installments starting November 1st.