Photo Credit: Marc Jacobs Instagram (@themarcjacobs)
You can always count on Beth Ditto, the 34-year-old frontwoman of rock band Gossip to hype up anything, be it a campaign or film, runway (she totally rocked the Hollywood-themed catwalks at the Marc Jacobs S/S 2016 show at the recent New York Fashion Week, by the way), magazine cover or song, to name a few.
So consider us extremely stoked to learn that she’s the new frontwoman of Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign, alongside Kristin Ogata (2nd from right, above), her wife of three years!
Dressed in a sequinned cardigan and an equally dazzling American flag purse from the designer’s collection while sporting shoulder-length curled, blonde hair, she is looking super smashing and on fleek here.
The singer behind punk-rock hits like ‘Heavy Cross’ and ‘Perfect World’s larger-than-life, uncompromising image, personality and size certainly makes Ditto an instant icon of the era – and possibly the antidote to the prevalent case of skinny models on the fashion runways and their slew of weight-related issues, from the likes of Bulimia Nervosa to Anorexia and excessive starvation.
And for that, we’d say that Marc Jacobs deserves a pat on the back for adding diversity to the landscape of fashion ads, especially during a period of time when the industry’s notorious problem with body image – the young and skinny – is on the rise.
The ad campaign series shot by British fashion photographer David Sims also stars supermodels Adriana Lima, 34, Bella Hadid, 19, and Joan Smalls, 27, singer Sky Ferreira, 23, RuPaul’s Drag Race alumn Dan Donigan, as well as actresses Christina Ricci, 35, Juliette Lewis, 42, alongside Bette Midler who is 70 this year, Sandra Bernhard at age 60, and the 50-year-old transgender movie director Lana Wachowski of The Wachowskis, who is responsible for films such as The Matrix, V for Vendetta, and Jupiter Ascending.
Scroll down for the complete series:
Juliette I have always wanted to work with Juliette Lewis. She is someone whom I have admired and respected throughout her entire career. After years of asking, I’m so happy we could finally collaborate. Juliette, Ruby, Riley, Alek and Mattia by David Sims for Spring/Summer 2016 @juliettelewis @aspiring323actress @loveme_rileym @mattia.pardini #alekwek
Bette and Sophie The evening before we were scheduled to photograph Bette, I had a very last minute thought to ask if her daughter, (actress) Sophie von Haselberg, would consider appearing in a photograph… Thank you, Sophie, for being a part of this campaign! Sophie, Bette, Mattia and Ethan by David Sims for Spring/Summer 2016 @bettemidler @mattias.pardini @ethanjamesgreen #sophievonhaselberg
Jamie and Sofia Jamie continues to effortlessly inspire all of us season after season. Photographed together with Sofia Malamute, a talented photographer (and remarkably good bowler!), I am pleased to leak this image of my loving and loyal friends by David Sims for our Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign. @jamiebochert @sofiamalamute @molllsbair @babbym @glenngalleghan #karenparks
Boys Keep Swinging… Dan Donigan and James Whiteside joined by Guinevere Van Seenus, one of my all time favorite girls (who appeared in our 2004 Blush ad shot by David Sims), the lovely and sexy Bella Hadid, the smart and cool Julia Nobis and one of my fashion illustrations brought to life, Cierra Skye. Photographed by David Sims for Spring/Summer 2016. @bigandmilky @jamesbwhiteside @bellahadid @xoskyexo #guineverevanseenus #julianobis
I first fell in love with Christina Ricci when I saw her acting along side Cher and Winona Ryder in, Mermaids in 1990 and then again in her role as Wednesday in, The Adams Family. As with Winona’s, Lydia, in Beetlejuice, I have always loved the little gothic characters as depicted by Tim Burton and Charles Adams. Those fictitious, dark little creatures have always resonated with me and are often referenced in my work. And then there was Vincent Gallo’s, BUFFALO ’66… The images of Christina’s character from that film still serve as frequent beauty references. It was in 2004 when I first started working with Christina while at Louis Vuitton. She was in our fall campaign that season and then opened our Spring/Summer 2005 show in Paris. Christina continues to inspire me and remains a part of our MJ family. I am so pleased to have had another opportunity to work with her surrounded by this incredible group of individuals. Photographed on and around Christina are, Andrea Rosen – gallery owner and friend, Drew Droege – a favorite comedian of mine (who also performed at our recent Decadence event as, Chloe Sevigny), Hookerlegs – who previously appeared in the 2014 Marc by Marc #castmemarc campaign, Natalie Westling – who continues to keep me abreast of street lingo, Grace Bol – who’s always as beautiful as can be, Tyg Davidson – from our SS16 show and Jenny Beth Thomas – who momentarily ducked out from her job that day to run down to the studio and be photographed by David Sims for Spring/Summer 2016. @riccigrams @drew_droege @andrearosengal @hookerlegs @gracebol @lovetyg @nataliewestling @blackhairblackheart
After listening to Sky Ferreira’s album NIGHT TIME, MY TIME on repeat for what was probably six weeks straight as we worked on the SS14 collection, Katie asked if Sky would walk for that same show…and so she did! The next season, she played our FW14 after party, we’ve since named a @marcbeauty eyeliner after her (Sky Liner), and I’m an avid “liker” of her @instagram. Seated beside Sky is our former intern, designer, Matty Bovan. I fell in love with Matty’s illustrations and asked him if he would collaborate with Amie Robertson to work on this iconic print (which he’s wearing)! At the top of the heap is Veronika Vilim and the sexy, smart and all around wonderful, Emily Ratajkowski. Katie first introduced me to Emily the day before Valentine’s last year and subsequently Emily appeared in our Fall/Winter 2015 ad campaign (also shot by David Sims). And a big thank you to Sora Choi, Jake Levy, Shelby Hayes, Karly Loyce and Jamie Bochert for being a part of this pile of beautiful people photographed by David Sims. Lastly, after 30 years of Stan Smiths, I’ve finally found a new staple-sneaker – our own Marc Jacobs running shoe (pictured here on Matty and Jake)! @skyferreira @babbym @emrata @jamiebochert @veronikavilim @karlyloyce @jaklevy @sola5532 @shelbyhayes14
This season’s ad campaign represents a series of connected events; a visual narrative. It is a personal diary of people who have and continue to inspire me and open my mind to different ways of seeing and thinking. The spectrum of individuals photographed in our Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign represent a celebration of my America. In collaboration with photographer David Sims and stylist Katie Grand, the people featured in our campaign personify this collection of fashion through their individuality. Collectively, they embody and celebrate the spirit and beauty of equality. It is with an overwhelmingly full heart that I share this first portrait of our Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign. Lana Wachowski. I was first introduced to Lana via YouTube in December 2012. The speech Lana gave to accept the Human Rights Campaign, Visibility Award, (October 20, 2012) was utterly profound in its script and her articulate, brilliant and timeless delivery. She expressed thoughts and ideas that have filled my head and heart always but had never been so eloquently captured in language that was so tangible, intelligent, poignant and full of possibility. I found myself referencing Lana’s words in my daily life and sharing her speech with close friends. In the days before our Spring/Summer ‘16 fashion show and through a fateful series of communications, much to my incomprehensible delight, Lana accepted an invitation to our show in New York City and thus I took her, “fashion show virginity.” Lana’s ineffable beauty captured by David in this portrait reminds me of the personal sentiment she shared with me about, “learning you can make important friends at anytime in your life.”
I first saw Sandra Bernhard in the 1982 film, “The King of Comedy,” and was in absolute awe of her cynicism, sarcastic wit and unfiltered in-your-faceness. Her sense of humor, comedic timing and brilliant irreverence has always been so admiringly bold. Sandra’s comedic consciousness, integrity and genuineness is harsh, hard and authentic. This portrait of my friend Sandra by David Sims -styled by Katie Grand – for our SS16 ad campaign perfectly captures her acerbic vocal styling, pure intensity and punchy rhythm. @sandragbernhard
What a privilege it is to know your heroes. My earliest memory of Bette Midler was somewhere around the age of nine years old. I remember (at that young precocious age) hearing about her performances in the basement of the Ansonia Hotel’s, Continental Baths. I vividly remember the genuine excitement and love I had for Bette’s music. I was curious and excited by her energy, power and the exuberance in her voice and bold, brassy glamour. To this day, I still credit Bette Midler (unbeknownst to her) with a large part of my foray into fashion design. At age ten when I discovered the image drawn by Richard Amsel for her album cover, I was so instantly enamored by the silhouetted Bette in a black dress wearing platform sandals with a wedge of red curly hair that I recreated it on the back of a jean jacket with acrylic paint and embroidery floss and proudly wore it to school. The onset of the spring/summer 2016 season began with my interest in the pride of being an American, however, I have always maintained that I’m a New Yorker above all else, a different breed entirely – one whom at nine years old is aware of the Continental Baths and more importantly the sexy, glamorous and sublime, Bette Midler. After a conversation with Katie Grand about New York nostalgia she had recommended a documentary on the BBC that profiled Bette throughout her career and New York City. While I have always felt a certain connection with and influence by Bette, the moment that struck me so profoundly was a statement she made about her footprints from the past disappearing as she retraced old haunts of her once familiar New York. It all felt so relevant and apropos of the pieces of the yet-to-be collection that lay before me weeks before the show. It reminded me of the pride I felt in having the privilege of calling myself a born and raised New Yorker. To her beauty, her brass, her glamour. To that energy, vitality, verve, nerve and curve… I’m so happy to share this beautiful portrait by David Sims. Ladies and Gentleman, the Divine Miss M!
DAN One night while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race I recognized one of our men’s sweaters on a tall, handsome contestant. His unique, artistic drag sensibility reminded me so much of the amazing drag characters of my club days at The Pyramid, Copacabana and other New York haunts I used to frequent. Upon realizing that Dan Donigan was MILK (who used to work with us at Marc Jacobs), I started following @bigandmilky on @Instagram. Today I share with you this portrait of Young American, Dan Donigan shot by David Sims for our Spring/Summer 2016 campaign as well as the touching direct message (DM) I received from Dan after “liking” one of his photographs: “Hey there! I want to start out by saying thank you! When I started working for the MJ stores 5 years ago, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was lost. All I knew was that I wanted to flex my creative muscle and most importantly, be happy. Working for your namesake company helped me along the way. It was living the summer of 2011 at the store in Ptown that opened my eyes to so many different outlets of what the art of drag could be. It wasn't necessarily about female impersonation. It was about representing oneself in the most fabulous way, whether it be a Cher impersonator or throwing a shit ton of glitter on your face and dancing the night away in a basement! 😍 Where I am now in my life is absolutely surreal. Of course I have worked my ass off along the way which has only made it that much tighter and easier to show off haha 😜As a 15 year old little boy, I would never have thought I would be here, travelling around the world, putting on makeup, and performing for fans. I am blessed to have had the past I had, a life that pushed me to reach and strive for something unknown yet better! Long story short(ish)…Thank you for following me and contributing to my creative life. It really does mean a lot 💗 Please feel free to shout whenever you would like to attend American Ballet Theatre. I know James, my boyfriend, would love to have you in the audience!!! Hope our paths cross soon! Xox Milk aka Dan” And I hope they keep crossing… To quote RuPaul, “we’re all born naked and the rest is drag." X, M.
JOAN There’s a beautiful chicness, heat and elegance that Joan has about her that I find extremely intriguing. Joan was previously a part of our Spring/Summer 2015 ad campaign, which was the first time we worked together (following her appearance in the SS15 runway show). It is a pleasure to leak this photograph of Joan by David Sims for our Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign. @joansmalls
ADRIANA Beyond her stunning beauty and oozing sex appeal, Adriana is incredibly kind, gentle and absolutely tireless. Since her first show with us, she has since been a part of our SS15 ad campaign, the star of our Decadence fragrance campaign and the face our Spring/Summer 2016 show poster. What is most remarkable about Adriana is how much she gives. Whether it’s shooting for a campaign, walking in a show or being a part of an event to support us – most recently where she allowed a magician to saw her in half – she is a shining example of an independent woman, a devoted mother and good friend. The always-gorgeous Adriana photographed by David Sims for our Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign. @adrianalima
Friends This beautiful image of Bette expresses the happiness, joy and gratitude that I feel being able to work with people who amaze and inspire me. It so perfectly illustrates one of my favorite Bette songs, “Friends.” I am so grateful for what I get to do every day and could not imagine achieving any of it without the help and dedication of our design team, the people at Marc Jacobs, everyone involved with the shoot – the stylists, models, hair and make up teams, casting agents, David and his team and set designers. To everyone who gives so generously and consistently time and time again, THANK YOU…”cuz you got to have friends.” @bettemidler
It is no wonder why they say that LOVE is embracing diversity.
This article is published as part of Couture Troopers’s February 2016 issue ‘LOVE’