Beauty, care, love. Prada’s exploration of these eternal, timeless values of humanity - universal emotions - inspires both the Fall/Winter 2023 collections and campaigns. They are brought to life through the metaphor of flowers - both totems and gestures of tenderness and affection - here reimagined to human size, a scale that suggests otherworldly emotions. Those flowers interact with five actors, all global stars - Benedict Cumberbatch, Hunter Schafer, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Letitia Wright and Li Xian - a roster of cinematic idols reflecting Prada’s long-standing relationship with cinema as an expression of cultural ideas and ideals. These figures’ mastery of their own craft enables them to evoke these feelings in both still and motion image - through words, action, even a glance.
An impossible sequence of surreal conversations unfold, between these figures and flowers, a dialogue, literal and visual. Flowers themselves are ageless symbols of a beauty between the everyday and the extraordinary - in and of themselves can be seen as conduits of emotion, physical expressions of the intangible. Their resonance transcends cultures, even language - and here, by virtue of scale, they also become protagonists, living creatures, that can become active participants.
In imagery captured by Willy Vanderperre, each flower, blown beyond life-sized, faces a different figure, teamed in exchanges and dialogues both visual and literal - in the accompanying campaign films, the cast converses with these improbable blooms to a script specially-created by Michael Cunningham - the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours (1998).
Just as these conversations are paradoxical, so the flower itself is a dichotomy - both fragile and strong, precious and quotidian, ephemeral yet eternal, each one unique. A metaphor for humanity, used as an outer expression of our thoughts and feelings, we can find a synergy between flowers and an embodiment of the human experience - always implied, here made concrete. A real emotion, evoked through these seemingly unreal images.
Talents: Benedict Cumberbatch, Hunter Schafer, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Letitia Wright and Li Xian
Photographer: Willy Vanderperre
Creative Direction: Ferdinando Verderi
Script by: Michael Cunningham
Benedict Cumberbatch is a BAFTA, Emmy and a Laurence Olivier Award-winning and Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-nominated actor. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his role in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, following his first nomination for his portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014). Cumberbatch was most recently seen reprising his role as ‘Doctor Strange’ in Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Cumberbatch gained wide recognition for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the series Sherlock (2010-2017). In 2014, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2015, he was appointed a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to the performing arts and to charity.
Hunter Schafer is an American actress and artist. She gained global recognition for her role in A24’s nine-time Emmy-winning series, Euphoria, earing acclaim as an actress and for her work co-writing the special episode “Fuck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob.” She is currently in production on A24’s Mother Mary opposite Michaela Coel and Anne Hathaway from filmmaker David Lowery. She will next be seen in Lionsgate’s Hunger Game prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and leading the Neon thriller Cuckoo, as well as in a cameo role for Yorgos Lanthimos’ AND. In 2021, Time magazine named her to its Next list of 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future.
Kodi Smit-McPhee is an Australian actor. He first gained recognition as a child actor, garnering an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Young Actor and a Best Actor nomination for his first feature role in Romulus, My Father (2007). He co-starred in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), and featured in the marvel films in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) and Dark Phoenix (2019). In 2021, Smit-McPhee received critical acclaim for his role in The Power of the Dog, alongside a Golden Globe Award and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His next role will be in Alfonso Cuarón’s highly anticipated limited series DISCLAIMER opposite Cate Blanchett.
Letitia Wright is an award-winning Guyanese-British actor and producer. In 2018, she attained global recognition and critical acclaim for her portrayal of Princess Shuri in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, assuming the titular role in the 2022 sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Letitia will next be seen in the upcoming boxing biopic In The Shadows. With her company 3.16 Productions and roles in recent art-house projects The Silent Twins and Surrounded, Letitia has cemented her position as one of the industry's most captivating young artists.
Li Xian is a Chinese actor. His first major role was in the film Soul Snatcher (2020), while Li made his small-screen debut in the web series City of Fantasy (2014). His breakthrough role came in the romantic comedy television series, Go Go Squid! (2019). His TV Shows have been translated into different languages, released on Netflix, broadcasted and received love from worldwide.