Fashion is a never ending fountain of creative geniuses coming through our revolving door, inventing new ways to freshen up something that had become dull and listless. H&M is one of those geniuses. The Creative Director behind the most recent David Beckham Bodywear forH&M commercial, Atlan tells us what it’s like to work with two Brits, his personal style and what other projects he has in store for us.
When did you first meet Beckham?
We first met in Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment offices in Los Angeles, where I presented him with the concept for the initial Spring 2012 Ad Campaign and TV Commercial.
How did the concept come about for the project?
After collaborating with Beckham’s team and the Creative Director of H&M on the first 3 campaigns, my studio was asked to come up with a striking and bold idea that would spark the public interest once more. My gut feeling was that David Beckham and Guy Ritchie would be a match made in heaven: two Brits who are men’s men with killer senses of humor. We worked on multiple scripts but the one that spoke most to everyone was a take on the quintessential nightmare of unexplainably finding oneself naked in front of strangers!
Who approached whom?
From the beginning, it was a true case of teamwork. Initially, I suggested the David Beckhamcollaboration to H&M who brilliantly found a way to make it happen by signing him. Upon being presented the choice of Guy Ritchie, H&M and Beckham’s people were absolutely essential in bringing about this ultimate dream team.
What was your initial reaction?
It was, of course, a dream come true. At the same time, the major scope and responsibility of a project like this comes with immense pressure. Totally worth it!
Ritchie and Beckham seem so much alike – hardworking, serious about their passions – was there ever a moment where you thought twice about this endeavor?
Never in a million years. From A to Z, this was an unparalleled creative experience and a beautiful collaborative effort.
What is it about H&M that you think has made it such a success today?
For such an established brand, H&M has the uncanny ability to move quickly, to take chances and to tap into the zeitgeist in totally unexpected ways!
Tell us about your personal style and how that intertwines with the H&M man.
For the past 25 years, I have worked with many cutting-edge, provocative yet elegant companies such as Comme des Garçons, Helmut Lang, YSL or Tom Ford, so I am never afraid to push the envelope, but always within the limits of good taste. This felt like a natural fit with the H&M man’s universe.
What are we going to see from you in the future? Are there more collaborations like this with other brands, books, collections, what?
Currently, our studio is working on projects with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the Dennis Hopper Art Trust, a gigantic undertaking with James Perse Los Angeles and, hopefully, more upcoming innovative collaborations with H&M.
Marc Atlan Profile / Copyright © 2012, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, all rights reserved.
David Beckham for H&M Bodywear / Copyright © 2013, Photo Nick Hudson
David Beckham for H&M Commercial “Behind-the-Scenes” / Director: Guy Ritchie Copyright © 2013, Photo Nick Hudson