Camper’s recent advertising has mixed bold colours with quirky imagery. Working regularly with photographer Daniel Sannwald and makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench, Camper Global Creative Director Romain Kremer has paired individual shoes with human ‘avatars’ to create edgy, surprising statements. These works appear more intended to appeal to a younger demographic than previous ads, though form part of a long design heritage at the brand.
The footwear company, which turned 40 last year and is based in Mallorca, Spain, with stores across Europe, Asia and the US, has an advantage over some competitors in that it is family run, which allows it more freedom to take creative risks. “It does give you a lot of advantages,” CEO Miguel Fluxà told CR in an interview last year. “It gives you a lot of freedom, because you are not in the hands of someone else – of course you still have to give some answers, but not as many as you would if you were on the stock exchange. It gives you more freedom to do certain things which otherwise we probably would not have been able to do: whether it’s communication, or whether it’s collaborations on projects, or whether it’s diversification.
“It gives you something that I think is very important, which is a long-term vision,” he continues. “I think today the world is dominated by short-term vision … but I think it’s also important to think long-term, because sometimes you can make mistakes or damage the brand by just thinking in short-term actions. I think this gives us a lot of perspective – when I do things I think more of the next generation than my generation and this is quite unique.”
“Camper’s DNA is rooted in creativity, innovation and diversity. With a dose of humour and irreverence, the brand speaks across [many] platforms”
“Camper’s DNA is rooted in creativity,innovation and diversity,” says designer Astrid Stavro, who worked with the brand on their recent book, The Walking Society. “With a dose of humour and irreverence, the brand speaks across a broad range of different platforms: everything from ads, shopping bags, radical store concepts and shoe boxes. The company’s creative vision goes way beyond the footwear itself.”
“Camper’s first groundbreaking use of photography was the Walk Don’t Run campaign launched in 2001 under Shubhankar Ray’s creative direction,” continues Stavro. “It embodied a way of life, a philosophy that marked a critical attitude towards globalisation and the speed of urban life. Ray commissioned Stefan Ruiz to shoot different locations around the Mediterranean. The unexpected subjects, both people and places, were imbued with poetic authenticity and irreverence. The iconic, award-winning campaign debunked set notions about lifestyle advertising and reinforced the cultural zeitgeist underpinning Camper’s philosophy and geographical origin.”
Kremer joined Camper as the brand’s first ever global creative director in 2014. “Romain Kremer’s appointment as Global Creative Director – mixing art direction and footwear design – is a great example of the brand’s capacity to tap into creativity as an endless source of originality and innovation,” says Stavro.
He has brought a more distinctive ‘fashion’ look to its communications, reflected in the images shown here and also in a series of recent, surreal films. The result is an edgier, more youthful approach that marks a distinct new direction for the brand, and a new chapter in its rich creative history.