Jul 14, 2013

Behind the scenes with Sarah Jessica Parker and the SM campaign

SHE came, she saw, she conquered the hearts of many Filipinos with her effortless elegance, sparkling wit and charming candor. The recent visit to Manila of Hollywood A-lister and fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, also known to fans and admirers simply as SJP, kept the Metro abuzz for weeks, resulting in a launch of the landscape’s newest luxe shopping destination and a marketing campaign so unforgettable and impactful, it will be remembered for years to come.

Given the relative secrecy preceding her arrival in time for the SM Aura Premier opening, top management and a small team within the SM Retail group worked quickly and quietly to make arrangements for the advertising, event and publicity requirements for the mall opening and the long-term The SM Store campaign. Working without much fanfare, they were rather amused—and, of course, appalled— at how others brazenly hitched onto the SJP bandwagon and made outrageous claims, much of it in social media.

During her brief stay in Manila, SJP spent a full day working on The SM Store’s “Love to Shop” campaign, which broke out recently in print and broadcast. Befitting her status as fashion icon, SJP’s look for the campaign was pulled together by a glam team she brought along with her.

Here are some behind-the-scene highlights on how photographer Daniela Federici, stylist Tracy Cox, hairstylist Andy Lecompte and makeup artist Leslie Lopez worked together to come up with SJP’s “Love to Shop” look for The SM Store.

“Sarah’s enthusiasm for clothes is fun and playful,” New York-based international photographer Federici says about her inspiration for the campaign. “The idea was to maintain a spontaneous feel that was never posey or stiff.”

She adds, “The layouts kept evolving from a full set to something as simple as a plain background.”

Federici, who has worked with the actress on previous projects, describes SJP as “a professional with a very kind and amicable personality. She is effervescent and extremely clever, which makes her a delightful subject. Sarah is always up and happy and warm and gracious to everyone.”

As such, Daniela always looks forward to working with SJP because “she takes directions easily. We have worked together before, so we have a mutual respect and appreciation.”

Federici says that working in Manila “was a wonderful experience for myself and my production team. Our first task was to find a shoot location that benefitted the scale of what we were about to undertake.”

It was, she adds, more than a shoot set; it was an event. “I am fortunate that my team from Nomad Media Industries, led by my Asia producer Guy Venables, has local experience, so we were able to work well with the local production and equipment company.” Cox is a New York City-based fashion designer, multimedia artist and exclusive wardrobe consultant best known for his collaboration with Parker, which began in 2003 on the set of Sex and the City Season 6.

He has known SJP as a “style chameleon, and have seen her ability to adjust to most situations gracefully. She is the same with clothing and fashion. Her looks and attitude enhance accordingly to each event.”

Known for keeping a bionic ear to the streets, high art and high fashion, Cox makes sure that style-wise, SJP stays ahead of the curve while making her style accessible to a lot of women. “My occupation is to create epic compositions,” he says. “SJP’s looks inspire women to take risks and be bold.”

In styling her look for The SM Store’s Love to Shop campaign, Cox highlighted “classic. These are silhouettes you’d find in your local mall accented with bold accessories and shoes for editorial appeal, in a way that women or young girls would desire and could obtain.”

As the Style Award’s 2012 Hairstylist of the Year, Lecompte’s work has appeared on the covers of internationally renowned publications including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and W. Vogue.com has named his eponymous LA salon one of the city’s “most appointment-worthy and celeb-heavy beauty spots.”

His style secrets for working with stars like SJP? “I often spend time working and studying images of them to see what looks are the most flattering, and what may not work,” Lecompte shares. “I also watch a lot of old movies and study hairstyles so I have lots of ideas and references. This helps communicating with my clients and understanding their style.”

Lecompte’s tips on how Filipino women can channel Hollywood glamour? “Maintaining your hair is key,” he says. “Using quality products will reflect in your hair style.”

Around the globe, Lopez has established herself as one of the most renowned makeup artists in the industry. Known for creating beautiful faces for the most beautiful people in the world, Lopez’s luminous glowing skin has become a coveted red-carpet look.

Lopez, who came to Manila as part of the SJP team, has been responsible for Parker’s unique brand of glamour since 2005.

“Sarah saw work I had done on different people and looked me up,” Lopez reveals about how she got to be SJP’s so-called face painter. Since then, she has become “her makeup artist for any event and advertising she does, as well as for premiers and talk shows.”

For her glam look, Lopez says that Parker “likes a smokey eye, so I always try to work with her eyes. I like gray tones on her.”

Off the set and off the red carpet, Lopez describes SJP as “a very casual person, and very down-to-earth. In real life, she doesn’t wear makeup,” but when she goes out, “she just does herself and does a great job.”

Source: Business Mirror Philippines

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