Portraits of Spring Fashion Hit Print

NEW YORK Bill Blass and Ellen Tracy are just two fashion advertisers ignoring Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an extended winter. Ads for their spring collections broke in magazines this week, aiming to turn sophisticated eyes to the warmer days ahead.

AR Media in New York enlists the help of British explorer Benedict Allen and Eugenia Volodina for Bill Blass’ collection, designed by Michael Vollbracht. Allen and Volodina were both photographed by Steven Meisel.

“We’ve really based it all on portraits,” said agency CEO and executive creative director Raul Martinez. “We wanted to bring to Blass a sense of personality, of sophistication, of classic beauty.”

A six-page insert will run in the March issue of Vogue and single-page ads in W, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair and other publications. Campaign spending was undisclosed, but the client spent about $2 million on ads between January and November 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Ellen Tracy spent twice that figure on ads during the same period last year, about $4 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Now, the retailer is set to launch campaigns for two of its collections, Company and Linda Allard. In its 13th year working with the company, Ziccardi Partners Frierson Mee in New York photographed Jaqueta Wheeler for Linda Allard and Mini Anden for Company on location in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.

Four ads for Linda Allard, photographed by Alexi Lubomirski, and six ads for the Company line, shot by Alan Cresto, will begin appearing in the March issues of Vanity Fair, InStyle and other periodicals through the spring months.