Press Releases and Statements

Sisley & Naples: love at first sight

From August throughout the world Terry Richardson’s new campaign


Ponzano, 7th July 2005. Sisley goes in search of the treasures of Naples. The autumn-winter 2005 campaign for Benetton Group’s sexy, brilliant and edge-cutting label is set in Naples. A very Italian love story by Terry Richardson in which glamorous elegance becomes a life style: in the beautiful rooms of an historical Neapolitan palazzo or in the alleyways and stepped streets of Spaccanapoli.

Pizza and spaghetti sciuè sciuè1, Vesuvius and Neapolitan melodrama, O’sole mio2 and the Capodimonte Museum, folk romanticism and Baroque culture: Sisley is an icon throughout the world of Mediterranean beauty and Italian style.

The story. Vicky and Nicole, one blonde and the other dark-haired, are captivated by Naples’ timeless charm.

“Femmene”3 as sweet as sugar embark on a love affair with the city. They eat pizza and spaghetti with fresh tomatoes, they immerse themselves in the city’s sacred and secular imagery, they flirt with cheeky porcelain Cupids.

Meanwhile, Steve, a bit guappo4 and a bit “surdato ‘nnamurato”5, is alone as he indulges his passion for the unique, sultry atmosphere of Naples.

Alone or with someone else, the byword is: I desire therefore I am… and, as Sisley teaches us, desire is often a question of style.

The photographer. Terry Richardson is back. “In Naples, he reminisces, “passions blossom like the lemon trees. Sensuousness is everywhere, it explodes as irrepressibly and voraciously as the Neapolitans’ vitality. The streets are natural sets already filled with erotic images”.

Richardson plays with brilliant lipsticks, very low-cut blouses, herringbone coats and suits whose severity evokes whispered promises. And everything – women, men, Sisley’s clothes, the streets of Naples – is transformed into an irresistible object of desire.

Production. With art direction by Nikko and production by Energy Project, as always the campaign achieves an almost perfect balance between play and formality, virtue and irreverence.

It will be launched worldwide in August on billboards, in double pages, in-store materials, collectible catalogues and stunning posters.

1 typical Neapolitan recipe

2 famous Neapolitan folk song

3 “women” in local dialect

4 a character of Neapolitan folk imagery, halfway between an  avenger and a gangster with his own code of honour

5 Neapolitan song

Terry Richardson

Terry Richardson was born in New York at the height of the Swinging Sixties and, in a way, he was destined to become a photographer from birth. For years his mother, Annie Lomax, was a fashion designer. Together with Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon his well-known father, Bob Richardson, had a hand in revolutionising fashion photography in the Seventies.

It was his mother who gave him his first small camera. He snapped everything about him in the brashest, freest way possible. Among his subjects were his rocker friends in Ojai, California, where he was still living; together they formed a band whose initials “SSA” (Signal Street Alcoholics) are still tattooed on his chest. He photographed himself and others with a natural, impromptu, shameless manual dexterity.

The seeds of his style had already been sown: bold, aggressive, uninhibited, sometimes verging on pulp, imbued with explicit eroticism with no metaphors but with a good dose of self-irony that takes off the edge. Sometimes the rawness of his style can be disturbing but it leaps out at you from the glossy pages of fashion magazines and from street hoardings, and it fascinates and allures those who frequent Richardson.

Some consider him a modern Newton. Using a play on words which mixes his love for rock and photography he describes himself as a rockographer. His technique is to have no technique: the lens is his eyes, his charisma, his ability to elicit flashes of truth – of any kind – from himself and anyone else. There’s no trickery or trappings: there’s just him and his two tourist cameras – one in each hand – with his unquenchable thirst for life’s emotions and a craving to get them on film.

He has created and continues to create advertising campaigns for the biggest fashion brands. He works for the leading fashion magazines: Vogue France, Vogue UK, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure. He has photographed some of the most beautiful and envied women in the world: Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, Sharon Stone.

Since 1997 he and Nikko Amandonico have worked together on Sisley’s advertising campaigns which he shoots with his two instant cameras: crazy stories, published every season in Diaries which have become youth cult objects.

His dream is to make a film, maybe about himself, as he recently revealed on the pages of New York Magazine. Actually his dream has partially come true. It’s no secret that he’s already used a video camera to shoot music videos for Death, Primal Scream and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Who knows, perhaps we’ll soon see him flaunt his amazing handlebar moustache and bare his mysterious tattoos on the silver screen. It’s the least we can expect of him.


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