Since opening shop in the country, Harlan+Holden has carved a name for itself in the realm of local retail with its instantly-recognizeable aesthetic. The label’s vision of its wearers is definite and clear-cut: someone who values being relaxed and comfortable, someone who favors softer, less abrasive palettes, and someone stylish yet unswayed by trends.
The brand’s values are seen in its latest launch, a footwear line that prizes lightness above all. Called the Camino, it is lined with Senso Memory Foam, the same material found in Tempur pillows and bills itself as practically weightless. This was the theme that art director Jay Hess and photographer Marius Hansen played around with when they shot the campaign for the Camino, a creative decision that the former Harper’s Bazaar UK stalwart said was easy to make. “Simple. We pulled them out of the box and it felt like a magic trick. They look so solid and comfortable, but were feather light,” he says. “It seemed almost negligent not to focus 100 percent on this truly unique feature.”
Hess was also deputy art director for popular retail portal Mr. Porter, and founding director of bespoke creative studio By Both. Norwegian lensman Hansen, on the other hand, has worked with major publications across the globe including AnOther, Arena Homme+, British Vogue, i-D and The Gentlewoman, and was also commissioned by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Dunhill, Bally, COS, Stella McCartney, and Swarovski, among many others.
The campaign’s images are complemented by a video, which Hess says is an extension of the same concept. “I think consumers want to be engaged across all formats, but not feel that the message is getting repetitive,” he says. The shoe also presents one of the first forays of the largely feminine Harlan+Holden (Adora, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati; 0917-850-5930) into menswear. Apart from the visual campaign, the “camino challenge” was simultaenously launched, with movers and shakers in the fashion industry such as Mr. Porter’s Jeremy Langmead traveling to remote places such as Bhutan as a means to prove the footwear’s longlasting comfort.