Here’s the thing; I was really shocked when I found out the model was Rita Ora. The problem is, these photos look like a white model portraying Marilyn Monroe, at best a white model with a tan. Rita Ora’s ethnicity is Kosovar-Albanian which is Eastern Eurpoean, but she has a beautiful medium caramel skin tone that you can really see in the behind the scenes video, available to watch below. The behind the scenes photos are SO exquisite (not that the finished ones aren’t) because you get the contrast of Rita’s warm, darkish skin against the platinum blonde hair, but as you can see in the final photo’s her skin is significantly lighter. I really question the need for this and I don’t think it was necessary – perhaps it was just very bright lighting and they didn’t alter her colouring in Photoshop, but I highly doubt it. I’m not saying the photos aren’t lovely because they are, but hopefully you see my point. Its just reinforcing the predominant message in advertising that being white is the main ideal of beauty we should all aspire to, the same way thinness is portrayed.
I really didn’t recognise who this “model” was when I first saw these photos, only that she looked like a brilliant Marilyn Monroe impersonator. The photos are truly beautiful and the clothes are just stunning; the turquoise suit is incredible! The campaign’s creative director was Roberto’s wife Eva Cavalli and it was shot by photographer Francesco Carrozzini.
What do you think of the campaign – do you prefer the photos before or after?
All photos via Roberto Cavalli/Francesco Carrozzini.