+ December 2, 2009
INTERVIEW WITH MICHEL MALLARD
Artistic Director / Azzaro pour Homme Elixir Visuals
“I wanted to reprise the idea of the first Azzaro pour Homme campaigns:
feature a man emulating strength – both strength of character and
physical strength – but also capable of a certain empathy and
Talk to us about your career…
I am interested in exploring the contact points between art and the
media. My experience, which combines art and communication, has lead me
into different but complementary directions. Today, I am the Art
Director of advertising campaigns for luxury brands, photographer,
creative director for fashion magazines and art exhibit agent …
past 15 years, I have worked on companies including Vogue for Men
International, L'Officiel, Tag Heuer, Jean Paul Gaultier…
As photographer, I have recently photographed Carla Bruni Sarkozy,
Isabelle Huppert and Karl Lagerfeld, to give a few examples, both for
advertising and editorial purposes. As creative director and curator, I
am in charge of the International Fashion and Photography Festival of
My work has taken me all around the world and has been shown in Paris,
at the Grand Palais, New York, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Mexico,
Luxemburg and London.
In the fragrance department, I mainly worked for
Kenzo with “Flower by Kenzo”, Kenzoki and the Belle de Jour line,
Jean-Paul Gaultier and now Azzaro pour Homme and Azzaro Elixir…
tell us how you came to work with the Azzaro brand? What did you
already know about its universe?
Azzaro belongs to the few mythical brands that have defined their
times. I was familiar with the women’s clothing line and with Azzaro
pour Homme perfume, which has been around for a very long time. I hope
that this new campaign, which delivers a powerful brand incarnation,
will help consumers discover and rediscover Azzaro pour Homme.
you work with the brand’s concepts for this project?
The Azzaro brand provided me with a precise brief: the goal was to
bring Azzaro Pour Homme back to life. How could his image be made more
modern? This combined a desire to return to the concepts behind the
first communication campaigns, based on a man emulating strength –
strength of character and physical strength – but also capable of a
certain empathy and tenderness. This chemistry characterized the
perfume for a long time and it was time to summon it once again in
these new times.
For the Elixir, the brand’s new perfume, the style had
to be more sexy, more hot, more erotic. Black and white quickly became
an obvious choice to convey the classical, timeless, classy and
high-end elements. The remaining challenge was to find a photographer
and a personality who could incarnate the visual. The scene had to be
placed outside the realm of time, hence our choice to shoot the visuals
in a studio. It was done at Pier 59 studios in New York, on the Hudson
How would you define the AFM man?
He is a handsome man, am
aesthete, refined, serene and modern … What were your sources of
inspiration for the idea of the visual?
Very quickly, I began to work with the image of the “Kiss” by Gustav
Klimt. This representation of a couple is simultaneously serene, full
of strength and sensuality … It becomes a fused entity. The presence of
the woman in the visual helps introduce notions of appeal and mutual
attraction, suggesting attraction and interaction, while keeping the
message clear. This is not a unisex fragrance, but a fragrance for men.
How would you describe the man embodied by Enrique Iglesias?
In the first visual, that of Azzaro Pour Homme, the man is more mature
and more elegant. With the Elixir, he is more ‘rock and roll’, more
sexy, more casual; the visual is more daring.
How was your
collaboration with the Azzaro brand?
And with Enrique Iglesias and
Very good. I already knew Steven Klein and his powerful aesthetics,
with a very unique fantastical universe which he has developed under
the constraints of editorial productions for fashion magazines. And I
was pleasantly surprised by Enrique… He was very friendly with
everybody, open, accessible and ready to listen … The fact that he
already knew and appreciated Steven Klein’s work further helped with
What type of memories will you have of this project?
Excellent! I hope that this campaign will count … that it will leave
and impression and meet with success...