Frank Ocean has been revealed to be the new face of Prada’s Spring and Summer 2020 menswear campaign. The Optimist Rhythm campaign, shot by David Sims, enraptures us with diverse photographs, including the singer contemplating the horizon in a black roll neck sweater and cropped combat boots. He will be sharing the lens with actor Austin Butler and director Nicolas Winding Refn.
The brand describes the campaign as a “confident embracing of the indefinability of Prada itself.” They also hope to use the campaign as a chance to reimagine the traditional logo. Written vertically, it’s joined by words born out of Ocean’s creativity in the form of an acrostic poem. It reads “Programming Rhythms And Dancing Again.”
This, however, is not Ocean’s first time working in affiliation with Prada. As seen last May, at the Met Gala, he paid homage to Camp with a black Prada nylon hoodie. In addition, he also attended the fashion empire’s 2020 menswear summer show in Shanghai, the first held outside of Milan and New York. Recently, he even clothed himself with the fashion crown’s merchandise for a recent issue of W. Magazine. Basically, he loves them.
Prada stated their reason for choosing their stars by explaining, “These men are a trinity of contemporary creatives, pivotal cultural personalities of now and archetypes of the hyper fragmented mindset of tomorrow. Each embodies a single identity of the Prada man, one aspect, one outlook, multiplied by each image, each definition.”
“Each of these men uses words to define themselves: the lyrics of a song, the words of a script. They are a blueprint, a template, for life, for living, for feeling. Here, words are used as a means to redefine the image, to attempt to define the indefinable,” they said.
“An intentional display of duality, multiplicity, constant reinvention and renewal is a vital element of performance. Through music, in movies, on stage, creatives re-address and realign perceptions, reframing the self and their own invention.”
The theme, according to Popsugar, digs deeper into the conundrum of identity, both as a dichotomy and a fluid spectrum. The brand wanted art; they believe it’s all in the performances that keeps the public on its toes, and I couldn’t agree more.
Frank Ocean is very familiar with the fashion world. In addition to his work headlining Coachella in 2020 and dropping singles, he is very well-versed with modeling. He has worked with brands such as Band Of Outsiders (2013) and Calvin Klein (2016).
Austin Butler, on the other hand, is a newbie in the fashion industry. The Nickelodeon veteran is rumored to play Elvis Presley in the biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann, so he definitely not going away anytime soon.
Danish shooting star Nicolas Winding Refn, while being considered a “rogue choice,” is also the mastermind behind productions such as the film series Pusher, Only God Forgives, and The Neon Demon.
I do have to say Frank Ocean, of all people, becoming the newest ambassador for Prada was a bit surprising. He has a reputation for remaining elusive. This was best seen after his two most recent albums, Endless and Blonde, when he decided to stay out of the spotlight for a bit. Truth be told, he tends to come out with new projects a bit randomly. Beyoncé’s way of doing things, if you will. Nevertheless, it is believed that alongside the Prada campaign, he is also working in distinct music projects.
You can learn more about the campaign through Prada’s website here.
As for Frank Ocean, I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this 2020.