Taming simplicity in the wild.
Around the loop, and back again… Except, not quite. Taking beautiful pictures of a man in his underwear, in a location that is both beautiful and wild, but not necessarily picture-perfect.
In theory, nothing too complicated, but then again… Simplicity remains the wildest aesthetic. Charming to the naked eye, it vanishes as soon as one tries to take a picture of it. Few photographers are able to tame it with a single picture.
But Valentin Hennequin is.
Valentin Hennequin, photographer of discreet charms.
A French fashion photographer based in Milan, working for the likes of M le Monde and Vogue Paris or even Apartamento or The Greatest, Valentin Hennequin is among those talented people who are no strangers to the most exceptional French and international magazine editorials.
We met Valentin after seeing one of his pictures on Instagram. Actually, that’s not true, he’s the one who met us, thanks to his friend Andrea Faccio. On that day, Valentin took a black and white picture of Andrea in his home, dressed only in a pair of white boxer shorts, a white tank top and a pair of white socks. A mundane picture at first sight, which actually happens to be a difficult exercise. Truth be told, if the picture is good, it will then deserve to sit among other powerful images, without being tied to a particular time or place, and will remain inspiring through the ages. This photograph won’t just be beautiful, but spectacular.
Luckily, in this picture, Andrea (with whom we had previously worked with) is wearing our Gari tank top. Valentin mentioned it when he revealed his photograph on the social network. We looked at it, and the magic of social media, which first and foremost is to allow us to discover new talents, did its thing. A few emails and phone calls later, our next photoshoot was scheduled for high summer, with Valentin behind the camera.
For our model, we chose Alberto Perrazzolo, a man with a subtly imperfect charisma.
Deciding whom will be behind the camera is never easy. Valentin introduced Alberto Perrazzolo to us, and just like that, the casting ended before it even started. Not only is Alberto handsome and photogenic, he’s also incredibly charismatic. A doctor in kinesiology and an accomplished athlete, his fluid movements and his physical ease are just the thing to elevate men’s underwear.
A day out in the Milanese countryside.
The crew, complete with Chiara Spennato for styling and Erisson Musella for make-up, ventured out in the Milanese countryside in the early days of August, in one of those places where nature expresses itself through various textures and colors, such as through dry weeds, vivid greenery, clear waters, wet rocks and raw wood. Thanks to Valentin’s film camera, these contrasts paired subtly with the colors of our collection and mirrored the philosophy of our brand and its sustainable DNA by offering quality, organic cotton underwear without having to choose between comfort, aesthetic and ethics.
The detail-oriented poetry that is so dear to the photographer gave minimalistic, elegant rhythm to Alberto’s poses.
We switched from color to black and white without skipping a beat. We layered Harri henley tops, we mixed and matched colors, we had fun with the Breton stripe that runs on our Albar boxer shorts and our Etor briefs, we grabbed our Ikar longjohns for a few pictures by the water, we went bold with a crochet hat and our Gari tank top.
At the end of the day, we counted the films. The best was yet to come – seeing the pictures for the first time. Chances are we wouldn’t be disappointed. The whole team did a fabulous job. Soft shadows were revealed by the light. The photographer felt content.
Photography: Valentin Hennequin
Model: Alberto Perazzolo
Styling: Chiara Spennato
Hair and make-up: Erisson Musella