open. I don’t have any problem changing my idea. If I feel the photographer or the client is right, I
don’t have a problem remaking or redoing everything I did. It’s not about competition—“My idea
is better than your idea”—but I really have an amazing respect for professional photographers.
It’s happening a lot that brands are going straight to the photographer and the photographer
hires you as art director. Many times I’m working with the client and giving a list of photographers
I would like to work with, or who I think are best for interpreting an idea.
I think our job is really about [the] team and working together, but I’m so lucky again because
most of my clients have really great opinions and give me good material. Sometimes I think my job
is really mathematical—you need to have the capacity to resolve the questions. You have this idea,
the client has this idea, there is this type of dress, the photographer works better with this type of
model, this type of light, this type of location. You have lots of elements you need to put together,
that is a very good challenge.
PDN: Does the personality of the photographer matter or is it purely a creative decision
when you have to suggest a photographer?
GB: Most often the clients I have like more established names. I’m so happy when I can propose a
younger photographer. The only problem with the younger photographer is they make you more
© Versace/Photo by Mert alas and Marcus Piggot
responsible for the job…. If the photographer doesn’t have a good technique, because the young photographers sometimes don’t have that,
it makes my job the worst.
PDN: How has your work changed since you began?
GB: It has changed a lot. With digital [capture] the client goes on the
set. He would like to see the layout immediately, you apply the logo,
you show him exactly what the ad will be. Years ago when it was not
digital, everybody needed to wait. It was more interesting because
you had more time to make decisions. The deadline every season is
faster, [clients need everything] for tomorrow.
I just did one job recently with Bruce Weber, and he works with film.
He’s a genius because he makes everybody happy, but you can’t see if
the hair and makeup, the light or the shoes or whatever is good enough
because it’s only him, he doesn’t show Polaroids, you don’t have a [digi-tal] screen, he uses the old process. But after he sends you 400 pictures, you look and you know [that it’s great].
Now people want things in one day, that’s changed our business. In
the past we could do three or four clients. With this process we work
with ten times more clients. But of course you lose a little creativity.
© Miu Miu/Photo by bruce Weber
PDN: Does it affect creativity when you are turning things
around so fast and spending less time with them?
GB: I think so. Today sometimes when I look at advertising, I look
at editorials, I look at magazines, everything is similar. Before you
knew who the photographer was [that took a photograph]. Of
course, you look at a picture by Bruce Weber you recognize quickly
it’s Bruce Weber. Some photographers continue to have DNA. But I
think the quality is a little more flat at the moment and a little better. What’s happening now, for me, is that average photographers