Profiles in Black Creativity: Rajiv Lahens Leans Into Shared Experiences in Times of Need

Dockers' global creative director uses his work to bring people together during the pandemic

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Los Angeles-based Rajiv Lahens works on a number of projects, but feels especially attached to the work he did bringing the “It’s Been a Year” platform for Facebook to fruition in 2021. Accompanied by a short film that acknowledged the mutual hardship of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting social isolation, the initiative showed the power of people reaching out to one another.

“This project, in many ways, felt like a commemoration and encapsulation of the shared experience that is the Big P,” Lahens told Adweek. “It was an extremely cathartic exercise to tell people who might have been struggling that hey, we’re all going through it but you don’t have to go through it alone.”

As part of Adweek’s Profiles in Black Creativity series, Lahens, the global creative director for fashion brand Dockers, work stands out due to its lean into empathy.

Rajiv Lahens

Dedication, agility and creativity

How he adapted in times of separation: The Boston-born son of immigrants, Lahens has found special meaning in the universality of the pandemic and the challenges it has presented to creatives.

“Trying to sell an idea remotely comes with its challenges, nevermind the executing of multiple productions, but we had an incredibly agile and dedicated team that were truly inspired by the moment and did everything in their power to execute this project beautifully,” he explained.

“No one on our team ever said ‘no, we can’t do that.’ That was a seminal career moment for me,” Lahens added.

What’s in store for the future: “2022 is the year of giving opportunities to as many creatives, artists and friends that I admire as possible. I also will be finally releasing my project, entitled ‘While We Were Away,’ featuring photos captured in NYC between March and Aug. 2020, aka the first wave of the pandemic.”

You can find Rajiv Lahens on Instagram.

To view the entire Profiles in Black Creativity series for 2022, click here.