Interview by Conor Risch
ADVERTISING MARKET TODAY
© Gui PaGanini
Giovanni Bianco is a creative director
whose clients include fashion brands
like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Zegna,
Dsquared2 and Miu Miu. Born in Brazil,
Bianco moved to Milan at 22 to work as a
graphic designer. He became interested
in fashion after his studio created
advertising for Dolce & Gabbana brand
D&G. In 2001 he founded Giovanni Bianco
Studio 65 (GB65), where he has worked
with photographers like Bruce Weber,
Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Steven
Klein, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh
Matadin, and Camilla Akrans. PDN
recently spoke with Bianco about fashion
advertising, post-production and his role
working as an intermediary between
brands and the photographers they hire.
247 West 16th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011
PDN: What defines the work of a creative director
in fashion advertising?
Giovanni Bianco: Number one, you’re never doing anything alone. You’re working for the companies,
you’re working for the clients, the clients have the ideas,
the concepts, and they change. Each brand is different
and that’s what’s so interesting in our business. You
need to really open your mind and really know what
your client needs for sales. You need to respect the DNA
of the company. I’ve started to work with Versace, and
before the first advertising shoot I spent probably four
days inside the archive of Gianni Versace, and of course
Donatella Versace helped me a lot and brought me inside the company. You can’t do Versace and not respect
the feeling of the house and the DNA of the house.
PDN: are certain clients more assertive about
what they want?
GB: I’m so lucky—most of my clients have opinions.
For example Miu Miu: I work [directly] with Fabio
Zambernardi, the creative director of the company. He
knows exactly what the company wants for the advertising each season. What I’m doing is research, helping
him put together ideas and shape concepts. It’s good,
because sometimes it becomes more difficult if the
© ErmEnEGildo ZEGna/Photo by david SimS
Opposite, right: Fall/ Winter 2011 Versace advertising
photographed by Mart Alas and Marcus Piggott; left: Fall/
Winter 2011 Miu Miu advertising photographed by Bruce
Weber. This page, above left: GB65 founder and creative
director Giovanni Bianco; right, Fall 2011 Ermenegildo Zegna
advertising photographed by David Sims.
client does not know what the company wants.
PDN: What are the factors that go into choosing a
GB: When you start to work at this level, you need to
be very sure with the photographer, because most
photographers have a signature. If you’re going to
work with Steven Meisel you need to know what he
likes. If you work with Steven Klein you need to understand his vision, too. All these big photographers have
really good opinions and you share. At the end of the
day art direction is working between the photographer
and client to make everything better together.
PDN: What are the key elements in a good relationship between an art director and a photographer?
GB: The photographer needs to trust you; you need to
trust the photographer, because it’s a team. I’m really