"Fashion Star" Episode 8 Report: Advertisement Campaigns and the "Out of Africa" Failure

"Fashion Star" Episode 8 Report: Advertisement Campaigns and the "Out of Africa" Failure
Orly Shani directing her campaign
(Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC)

The most memorable fashion campaigns are the ones that strike a chord with the person observing them. Who can forget Mark Wahlberg’s sexy abs alongside the then-teen Kate Moss for Calvin Klein in the early ’90s, or Carine Roitfeld’s stylings in the Gucci ads showing pubic hair trimmed to a perfect G in the late ’90s? For this week’s “Fashion Star” on NBC, contestants had to create a campaign that captured their brand with one single image.

Okay, so the mock advertisements were nowhere near the caliber of those shot by superstar photographers Mario Testino and Annie Liebowitz, but they did the job, reminding us of the types of images that come out of novice fashion school shoots. This week, Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive stepped in to help coach the group. On to the ads:

We Liked: Ronnie Escalante’s whimsical shot of a model wearing his backless dress holding a bouquet of red latex balloons was a winner, as was Kara Laricks’s side-by-side shots of the same model styled in her tuxedo shirt – once in a masculine manner and then in feminine manner. We also thought Luciana Scarabello’s depiction of a model hunting for her prey in the forest in one of her structured print dresses was pretty cool.

So-So: While Nzimiro Oputa’s men’s cardigan was a versatile and smart piece, the suitcases didn’t feel particularly original next to the model. Orly Shani’s Polaroid take was passable, but her motorcycle dress was unoriginal.

The Failures: Ross Bennet’s attempt to capture Texas heat for his hunting jacket definitely looked like, as Saks Fifth Avenue buyer Teron Schaefer put it, “a film poster from ‘Out of Africa.’” The biggest bust was Nicky Poulis’s tight shot of the model’s head. Where the heck was the maxi dress she was trying to sell?

The buyers felt the same way. H&M snapped up Escalante’s dress for $50,000, Saks bought Laricks’s tuxedo shirt for $80,000 and Scarabello’s frock for $50,000, and Macy’s took Oputa’s cardigan for $50,000

The mentors were ambivalent about who they should save out of Shani, Bennett, and Poulis, so they didn’t pick anybody. The buyers didn’t find their decision as difficult, and cut southern boy Bennett. Surprisingly, all of the winning pieces are still in stock online – guess those campaigns didn’t sell well to the real customers.


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