Oliviero Toscani is mostly known for his VERY daring shock-campaigns for Benetton in the 80s and 90s. The Italian Photographer used to be their art director from 1982 to 2000. Back then; his works caused many debates while being discussed controversially. Among them were photos showing a nun and a priest kissing, a dying AIDS patient, disabled children and the blood-smeared clothes of a deceased soldier. The campaigns were not always well received, but they definitely aroused publicity.
For the latest coup of the Italian fashion brand, he returned, and put once again a political message to his work…
It is only two pictures that the photographer shot. But the meaning is strong: INTEGRATION. The setting is a classroom with 28 children and a teacher. The kids represent 13 different nations, coming from 4 continents. The future is bright if we all act in concert, so the idea behind it.
In a statement on Benetton’s website it says:
“The new Benetton campaign by Oliviero Toscani renews a theme – integration – that has long been dear to the Benetton brand, imbuing it with new meaning and urgency. ‘Integration is a major issue in our world today,’ says the photographer. “The future will hang on how, and to what extent, we use our intelligence to integrate with others and to overcome fear.”
Clearly, the fashion is not in focus here, but rather the topic, which is supposed to raise the brand’s recently dropped sales. Benetton had to fight with profit setbacks in the recent years and hopes to achieve a big comeback with this new, notably campaign.
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