Platon Gets Revolutionary for Cutler and Gross
More than two decades ago, small eyewear brand Cutler and Gross teamed up with local London photographer Platon to work on a series of advertisements that were both provocative and intimate. Cutler and Gross birthed itself out of the counter culture of Late 1960's London, offering eyewear for customers who were less interested in buying product that made them assimilate, and more interested in expressing their own views of their world and themselves. The campaigns were successful in how they spoke to the customer base Cutler and Gross were seeking to attract, and as time went by Platon and C&G went their own ways. Until now.
After a recent period of solid growth at C&G, Platon got the call. “I got contacted by Majid Mohammadi, the CEO of Cutler and Gross - he’s a really fantastic guy,” says Platon. After explaining to the photographer that his previous work with C&G is still an inspiration to the company, Majid asked to work with him again. “So we plotted to collaborate once again after all these years,” says Platon. This rekindling of their past relationship aligns perfectly with both Cutler and Gross and Platon's sensibilities. Platon's more recent history of photographing instigators and provocateurs is exactly what Cutler and Gross wanted to tap into for their latest campaigns. “Cutler and Gross is built on an idea of individuality and expression so it’s a natural fit for me because it’s a chance to say to everybody: ‘never follow the rules, and certainly don’t be conservative,’” explains Platon. “This is a chance to always have an undercurrent of humor and revolution.”
When it came to composing the images for the campaign, Platon didn’t have to look farther than the designs built directly into the line. “In each image, there’s something in the sunglasses that I feed off for the picture. In the case of the snake, there’s a snakeskin pattern in the glasses,” Platon explains. For the snakeskin images, Platon and his team actually got a small troop of snakes to drape on the models. “Some people thought we faked it! No, we didn’t fake it,” says Platon with a laugh. In fact, the model was totally comfortable with snakes and was happy to interact with the animal in that way. Some others on set weren’t as relaxed around the legless reptiles. One participant had to leave the room so as to no longer be in the same space as the snakes.
At the end of the day, the campaign is about catching peoples’ attention. They really played on the softness of the woman's face, accentuated by the hair and makeup work of Gregg Hubbard, and the exotic power of the snakes. “There’s something really powerful about this woman and her skin is so gentle and then you’ve got this bloody great python that could easily squeeze the life out of this girl,” says Platon. “And there’s nothing more beautiful than an animal like this that’s just raw. And then you also have the seduction of a young woman in her prime. It’s a nod to being cheeky and revolutionary type existence.”