How eyewear label Velvet Canyon explores its brand in the world of film with 'La Femme'
By Dale Arden Chong
19 May 2019
A fashion film can often seem like a vague concept, especially when it’s attached specifically to a brand—is it a promotional piece, a work of art, or something else entirely? However, as creative directors begin to explore the art of film—despite the fact that the specific category in marketing appears to have less viewership than traditional advertisement—with their labels, they open up a whole world of narrative storytelling for their brands.
Velvet Canyon—a brand dedicated to creating stylish and sustainably made eyewear—has just launched its first short film, “La Femme,” which is inspired by the 1960s French film era. For the women behind the Australian brand, the film acts as a creative project that excites them — and they hope their customers, too.
Below, the founders of Velvet Canyon discuss “La Femme” with FashionUnited, getting out of their creative comfort zones, touch base on how a fashion film can add to the overall conversation on content for brands in the age of social media.
What was the inspiration behind La Femme?
Making a short film has been a long time dream of ours and was always part of the plan. The name Velvet Canyon was actually originally meant to be the name of our short film, but we liked it so much we used it for our brand instead. This specific film, La Femme, was inspired by our sunglasses of the same name, the ‘60s style cat eye. Our first collection had six styles, and we created stories for each pair to correspond with their names (Sunday Brunch, Heartbreaker, Disco Inferno etc.). We had ideas for all six styles and La Femme happened to be the first one that we made.Why did you decide to create a short film for your sunglasses brand?
The brand enabled us to make a short film. We're creative people and Velvet Canyon has given us a focus for our creative energy and project ideas, as well as a budget.
How do you feel like a fashion film helps to showcase the overall mood of Velvet Canyon?
The film allowed us to have a lot of fun and get out of the formula we have kind of set for ourselves. We approached it less of a branding exercise and more of a fun project that we got to work on together. I hope that it's something a little bit different that people are excited about, and I hope that excitement carries on to the other parts of our brand.
Where do you think fashion films lie in the spectrum of brand marketing?
With social media it feels like brands need to be constantly putting out fresh imagery to stay relevant. It's easy to focus more on content shoots than big campaigns, which is understandable as it feels like they are given the same amount if attention, getting the same amount of likes. If a film can hold your attention for more than a few moments it's already done more than still imagery. I am seeing a shift to brands creating more videos, not just fashion films but little clips for stories. I think it's just a natural progression for those trying to stand out from the sea of amazing images we see on a daily basis.
The film is shot on 16mm film, can you tell us more about the process behind creating this piece?
We wanted the film to have a very authentic 60s nouvelle vague feel about it. Really, the whole project just sounded like a lot of fun. We had almost no idea of how much work would be involved. Oh, my sweet summer child. But it was a really amazing experience and we have the best memories from the trip, the whole team in the south of France eating meals together under a big tree by the pool—very romantic!
How does this film capture the Velvet Canyon woman?
We see just a few minutes in La Femme's life, we don't know anything about who she is or how she got here, what her motives are. She's certainly independent and strong! However, I don't like to define the Velvet Canyon woman. She is whoever she wants to be, we wouldn't dare say she should be one thing or another.
Do you have plans to make more films in the future?
Not sure when we will be making another short at this moment in time, but we have tons of ideas in the pipeline!
Watch the “La Femme” below:
Video and Images: Ali Mitton courtesy of Velvet Canyon