The 2021 campaigns are slowly rolling out, and one can’t help but notice the recent, welcoming trend of newer photographers landing contracts with top brands like Dior, Miu Miu, Prada, and Coach for the first time. What’s even more notable is the linking thread of them all being led by women. Have these brands finally caught on to the needed inclusive movement behind the camera as well? There certainly seems to be a shift in fashion, and Models.com takes a more in-depth look into the recent work of Elina Kechicheva, Renell Medrano, and Marili Andre as they quickly ascend as photographers to be on the lookout for.
Shot by Elina Kechicheva, Dior’s S/S 21 campaign took a different, vibrant approach to visuals this year. In the past, the brand has championed women in their creative teams, whether they’re established or not, and has worked with Paola Mattioli, Lean Lui, and, primarily, Brigitte Niedermair who has shot the brand in her simplistic, forward-facing signature for the past two years.
The images shot by Kechicheva emulate a distinct resemblance to Baroque-era paintings, from the romantic ethereal colors and table settings to the play on chiaroscuro lighting and interacting movement. The campaign was a flashback to a more whimsical era of Dior and features Holly Fischer, Judith Frament, Levi Achthoven, Maryel Uchida, and Sculy Mejia showing an expansion of the Dior Girl that has been laser focused on the two girl casting of Ruth Bell and Selena Forrest up until last Resort season. For S/S 21, Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by poets, intellectuals, and authors who “through their writing illuminate life and emotion” – a fitting pairing with Bulgarian-born photographer Kechicheva whose work plays up Pre-Raphaelite, painterly portraits with deep colors. Kechicheva who has been in the industry for a decade has previously worked with Missoni, Paper Magazine, and Numero France but Dior marks a major luxury milestone.
The latest Coach campaign was lensed by photographer and film director Renell Medrano, and shot on the streets of Medrano’s hometown of New York City. The American brand’s message of “Coach It Forward” is focused on spreading gratitude within their influencer #CoachFamily and features Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan, Jeremy Lin, Koki , and Yang Zi. The brand has often worked with Juergen Teller, Craig McDean, and Steven Meisel for their advertising campaigns, but returned to Medrano for Spring 21 after a successful Holiday 2020 campaign.
Medrano started shooting when she was around the age of 14 and was heavily influenced by her surroundings growing up in The Bronx. She interned in the Harper’s Bazaar’s photo department before graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2014 and has won The New York Times Lens Blog Award. Medrano, who has worked with Fenty, Prada Linea Rossa, Vogue Italia, and Tiffany & Co., has a style that consists of “intersections of culture within society and the communities around her” – a perfect descriptor for her new Coach campaign, which captures the gritty elements of New York with even artist, Blue the Great spray-painting a wall in the background.
The Upcycled Miu Miu campaign shot by Greek-born photographer and artist Marili Andre is a sustainable initiative set on upcycling and transforming a selection of 80 vintage dresses dating all the way back to the 30s up to the 70s. Miuccia Prada chose to give new life to these pieces by adding Miu Miu’s signature accessories, ribbons, bows, sequins, and beads. Miu Miu has previously sought out Douglas Irvine and Liz Collins, amongst other established and upcoming photographers for their campaigns but most recently they brought on Steven Meisel for their S/S 21 campaign.
In the glossy images featuring models Amrit and Levi Achthoven it can be difficult to spot that the pieces are vintage revamps, that’s how seamless they are with the Miu Miu design studio’s whimsical styling. Andre started taking photographs of her classmates at 15 and has worked in the industry for over a decade, starting out by taking test shots for IMG back in her early days. Andre’s work consists of an array of bright, contrasting colors with an abstract fish-eye lens angle. This was also Andre’s first time shooting for Miu Miu, but she has also shot for British Vogue, CR Fashion Book, and Mowalola.