Once upon a time Australian chain store Portmans had (the soon to be ‘winged’) Victoria’s Secret Angel Miranda Kerr and Jessica Hart as their faces, but one became and Angel while the other fronts Seafolly’s ads. Now Portmans have walked down a new path, one which lead them to collaborating with Australian fashion illustrator Kelly Smith aka Birdy & Me to create Birdy & Me for Portmans, a beautifully illustrated ad campaign for Spring 2010.
According to the release:
The willowy girl depicted in the campaign shows a subtle likeness to any of the industry’s favourite runway models and wears the Portmans pieces with the same air of nonchalance, giving Birdy & Me for Portmans a romantic, dream-like vibe. The cherry on the top is provided by the fluttering of the tiny birds which seem to be attracted by sweetness of the outfits themselves.
Smith, who’s work has been seen in the likes of Vogue and RUSSH, took inspiration from fashion, film and fairytales to create illustrations through a combination of tradition and mixed media techniques.
Since Hart and Kerr ceased their campaigns with the high street chain, Portmans’ ad campaigns have been a little lacking, but luckily they found their feet again.
They chose to go down the illustrated ad campaign path because “illustrations have always been so key in fashion and particularly their visibility within the industry is increasing exponentially,” they told us. “In prints on fabrics and graphics as much as fashion campaigns, art adds a new layer to the Portmans collection, a texture that can not always be reflected in fashion photography, an element of escape and storytelling.”
We love that Portmans have taken a new direction this season with a lighter more feminine collection that embraces florals and movement. Perhaps there is hope for Australian high street brands with the onslaught of overseas chain stores opening (and looking to open) stores down here, if they keep pushing the envelope a little more by collaborating with talented artists and creative minds. Now if only Portmans would embrace social media – or at least launch their own Twitter account and promote their Facebook page on their own website.
This is the first (of hopefully many) collaborations Portmans have done to feature young, female up and coming artists in their advertising campaign, perhaps taking a leaf out of the Garance Dore and Gap partnership.
What do you think of the Birdy & Me for Portmans ad campaign?