In October last year, French photographer Oliver Kervern set off on a trip around Sicily with Jil Sander‘s creative directors, Lucie and Luke Meier. Their objective was to shoot the brand’s latest campaign, dropping models on the streets of Palermo, Gibellina and Mondello for Kervern to capture in his distinctive style. What they achieved went further, resembling an ethnographic-like survey of people and place, which they now present in the form of a new book.
The series, Sicily, which was presented for the first time at Jil Sander’s Via Sant’Andrea space in Milan earlier this year, fuses the shadow, line and proportion of Sicilian vernacular with the brand’s men’s and women’s collections. Travel has continuously threaded through the Meiers’ work at Jil Sander and these images build upon previous chapters in their roadtrip projects, most notably their SS19 campaign where the duo traveled the coast of Japan with Mario Sorrenti.
Speaking to us for HEROINE 11, the pair expanded on how they see the confluence between travel and design in their work. “It’s cool when you hang out in a place for a while, it’s not like being in a studio where everything’s done properly and it’s all really measured, it’s like, “Let’s see what happens.””
“I’ve done a bunch of road trips and you capture some things that are impossible to plan for. For whatever reason, this little random place, at that specific time of the day, with the way people are feeling – it just works. Some of the best images we did were random ones down backstreets or against old factory walls”
Sicily by Olivier Kervern has been printed by Jil Sander Publishing in May 2020 and is now available online and selected Jil Sander stores.