Mônot finds itself at a crossroads for their latest campaign.
Founded and led by creative director Eli Mizrahi, the very young (this is only his second collection) Lebanese womenswear brand has already moved past the point of turning heads and into snapping necks. The new Fall 2020 campaign is being lauded and loved by industry insiders everywhere, and it’s easy to see why.
The campaign was shot over just 24 hours in the historic city of Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, by photography duo Luigi and Iango. Mizrahi first visited Saudi Arabia for the MDL Beast festival in December and knew he wanted to shoot his next campaign there as soon as he landed in Al Ula. With its combination of ancient history and cutting-edge contemporaneity, rolling sand dunes and jagged, architectural rock formations, it is an exquisite location.
But a background can only become meaningful if what is in front of it is worthy, and Mônot beautifully rises to the challenge. Worn by Kate Moss, Jourdan Dunn, Candice Swanepoel, Amber Valletta, Alek Wek, Mariacarla Boscono and Xiao Wen, Mizrahi’s sexy and architectural designs recall another return to early-2000’s elegance. Luigi and Iango portray these powerful and beautiful women as both part of the landscape and distinct from it. They find a cohesive aesthetic language of shadow and line that extends across terrain and body and clothing alike, but there is still a sense that these women are nomadic, that they could conjure the same impressive attitude in any location.
The accompanying short film brings music and motion to the scene. Epic drone footage of the spectacular landscape punctuates dramatic shots of these women looking into the sun or the camera. Traditional local music underscores the expressive motions of their bodies. There is something incredibly alluring about Kate Moss smoking a cigarette in the middle of a desert, and that image especially feels instantly iconic.
With this campaign, Eli Mizrahi and his brand display an incredible – and deserved – confidence, but also an exciting sense of flexibility and experimentation. The location, choice of models, and designs reveal a deep understanding of and reverence for history and the history of fashion. But its avant-garde edge and collaborative, on-the-fly mentality feels fresh, and makes us so excited to see what Mônot does in the future. Mizrahi recently announced plans to move the brand towards showing two seasonless collections a year, and many brands are considering similar moves or have already announced them as the future of the industry continues to be more uncertain. But, like an oasis in the desert, Mônot has beautifully demonstrated how to transform this uncertainty into a smashing success.
Mônot Creative Director | Eli Mizrahi
Photographers | Luigi & Iango
Models | Kate Moss, Jourdan Dunn, Candice Swanepoel, Amber Valletta, Alek Wek, Mariacarla Boscono & Xiao Wen
Stylist | Carine Roitfeld
Hair | Luigi Murenu
Makeup | Georgi Sandev
Location | Al Ula, Saudi Arabia