If there’s one thing I know about John Varvatos, it’s that he never dissapoints in the artists that he chooses for his campaigns. It is with infinite amounts of joy that I report thats none other than Philledelphia’s own legendary neo-soul band, The Roots, are the stars of the John Varvatos Fall 2011 campaign. Varvatos told Womens Wear Daily “I’ve been a huge fan of The Roots for years,” said Varvatos of the Philadelphia-based septet that has won acclaim for its jazz-influenced approach to hip-hop. “They are one of the most innovative musical forces on the planet.”
Ever since I developed a finite, reputable taste in music, The Roots have been one of my favorite bands. They are the quintessential hip-hop band during a time where the genre is over-saturated with a lot of Top 40 nonsense and I’m so excited their fame is become more widespread. I think credit is also due to Jimmy Fallon as he brought The Roots on as his house band for his late-night talk show (Their walk-on songs are the best in late night and I will argue this till the end of time! ) As The Roots have been brought to the mainstream, I’m so happy to see their audience has broadened as they are certainly making musical history in an era where pop music and auto-tune rap seems to dominate the airwaves.
In the video portion of the campaign, The Roots, fresh of a plane, have an improptu jam sesh on a runway of the New York Republic Airport. It was all caught on film by famed photographer and film director, Danny Cinch, who also shot the last 14 Varvatos campaigns. In terms of inspiration, the Creative Director of John Varvatos’ ad agency explained to WWD:
“The way The Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles traveled had a huge impact on the direction for this season’s campaign,”I had been traveling a lot, and when I knew we were shooting The Roots, I started to think about how it would be to travel like the rock stars did in the Seventies. Led Zeppelin’s plane had fireplaces built in. So that’s what inspired us to shoot them in that way.”
The photographs taken for the ads indeed make me reminiscent of the 70′s classic rock tours, where the artists played music in the the skies, landed, and were ready to take the stage on land. Enjoy the jam session video below!