Stop what you’re doing and type the following words into your search engine of choice: Frank Ocean, Austin Butler and Nicolas Winding Refn in Prada.
Now, while you gasp in sheer delight at what feels like an apparition but what’s actually Prada's very real SS20 menswear campaign, featuring not one but three of the most talented, enigmatic, Prada-esque men on the planet, let me just say this: Prada wins. Prada wins!
Released earlier today, the campaign captures Ocean, Butler and Winding Refn (who you’ll recognise as the director of Ryan Gosling-starring thrillers Drive and Only God Forgives) wearing looks from the Italian brand’s Spring 2020 collection, which was unveiled in Shanghai last June.
The campaign was shot by renowned British photographer David Sims and creative directed by Italian visionary Ferdinando Verderi.
A dedicated Prada boy (recall the all-black nylon Prada anorak that raised a thousand eyebrows at the 2019 MET Gala?), Frank Ocean’s cameo isn’t entirely surprising – but this doesn’t make it a shade less delightful.
The fact Ocean is pictured wearing a Prada bolo tie only adds to the delightfulness.
Nicolas Winding Refn, who is something of an icon in art house circles, also has a longstanding relationship with the brand helmed by the equally iconic Miuccia Prada – the Danish film director has shown work at the Fondazione Prada in Milan in the past.
Austin Butler, then, emerges as the brand’s shiny new SS20 recruit – and shiny he is. Having had the privelege of watching Butler present an award at GQ’s 2019 Men of the Year ceremony – to Baz Luhrmann, no less – I feel reasonably well placed to postulate that the actor has all of the decorum, wit and intellect required to rep the Prada fam.
Of course, this being Prada – known among fashion peeps as the ‘thinking person’s’ brand – the new campaign doesn’t start and end with the clothes or the images. Instead, the musician, actor and filmmaker have created anagrams from the Prada name using words that correspond with their own artistic pursuits.
‘Programming Rhythms And Dancing Again’ is Ocean’s. ‘Pursue Randomness And Dichotomies, Always’ is Butlers, while Winding Refn’s reads: ‘Perfection Requires Artful Discourse, Always.’
“Each of these men use words to define themselves: the lyrics of a song, the words of a script,” the brand said in a statement. “They are a blueprint, a template for life... Here, words are used as a means to redefine the image. To attempt to define the indefinable.”
Given that the artistry of these men often eludes conventional descriptions, this summary couldn’t be more apt. They are “a trinity of contemporary creatives, pivotal cultural personalities of now and archetypes of the hyper fragmented mindset of tomorrow.” A holy trinity, we would wager.
Anyway, if you haven’t closed it already, I recommend keeping your earlier search result open. There’s seldom more comforting that knowing Ocean in a bolero, Butler in a boiled wool suit and Winding Refn in a Prada tie are only a click away.