Sergio Salerni, an expert creative director in producing uniquely inspiring fashion shows and luxury events, recently founded The Global Premiere, a multitasking production company.
Salerni’s background counts on very eclectic and different abilities in producing advertising short movies in various sectors, including the global fashion and luxury markets that gave him different recognitions as a director and visionary creative. He started operating in 1985, when he founded the video production company Videogang, now flanked by Urban Production, a multitasking structure that produces worldwide events and projects tied to the fashion world in Milan, Paris, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai, New York and Hong Kong. Through his career he directed fashion shows for Versace, Valentino, Dior and his videos have become popular worldwide. He also signed great events for brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Diesel and many emerging designers.
He explained SI about his new project and how fashion will evolve and communicate with the global audience in the future.
What is The Global Premiere exactly?
Thanks to my new project we can create a new physical-digital format that can multiply fashion shows through a series of live events in more fashion capitals at the same time canceling distances between brands, customers and consumers. It is a new way for organizing fashion shows in an era when emotions and the five senses can be involved despite the ban on intercontinental travel. Buyers, opinion leaders and press from across the world, for instance, cannot fly to Milan, as for he upcoming edition of Milan Fashion Week.
I recently organized the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show in Florence, an event that hosted 350 people, but mostly Italian buyers and press and almost no international guests. By using our expertise we can create any kind of video hosted in unique scenery that we can re-create by simply operating in a studio at relatively lower costs that flying many people from all over the world, or moving a troupe to some exotic place. Thanks to our Unreal Engine technology, we can re-create 3-D effects and sceneries that can stir emotions as if you were physically in those places. Our most recent video featured a model making a phone call in the middle of a desert in Nevada, in the US. Though the only real physical object we used for it was a phone box. We created all the rest.
Dolce&Gabbana Fashion show in Agrigento
How will fashion shows and events evolve in the future?
Digital tools and videos–that almost everyone is using today every day thanks to the Internet and social networks–will be used always more. If in the past fashion shows had to be very exclusive and host a few selected insiders, look, instead now, at Giorgio Armani featuring a live broadcast of his fashion show via television and many other shows happening via video. The digital aspect of a fashion show is always more important. If, for instance, before one decided what lights to use according to that suited best the audience watching it live in that specific location, now everything is decided according to how the video will be shared as fashion shows are also broadcasted via the Web, which is the main channel for sharing them. Consider that a recent Burberry fashion show was heavily criticized as they recreated smoke on the catwalk, people had the impression that a forest was burning and those sitting in the front row could not see models and outfits properly. Being so focused on creating highly emotional videos might damage the objective of the catwalk show.
Will fashion change that way it is designed as a consequence of this need to push the entertainment factor?
Fashion is not changing. The technique for remembering it is changing as videos have to hit the audience and consumers always more. As details of a collection are always more important when shooting a fashion show we use 10-15 video cameras to enlarge and magnify every pocket, button or outstanding element of an outfit. Consider all these younger designers who have a strong streetwear background like Virgil Abloh, among others. Their fashion is strongly characterized, for instance, by graphics, written messages and lettering and all means are used in order to show them via video like enlarged shots, slow motion video segments–often repeated–to impress the audience and hype that look as much as possible.
Moreover, when there are designers like Dolce & Gabbana who present about 100 looks in their catwalk shows they end up showing a total of 300-500 pieces. And we, when preparing the final video, have to stress some products more than others according to what designers ask us to push.
What was your favorite show or project you worked at?
There are many events like, for instance, the Fendi fashion show held at Fontana di Trevi, Ferragamo at the Louvre Museum–all shows that requested a long time simply for getting permission to use such special locations. I also liked the series of events organized for celebrating Valentino’s 45th anniversary… maybe this one was the most amazing project. Though all of these shows and projects are part of the past as budgets are smaller and people can hardly travel. Videos give you better opportunities and cost relatively less. This way you can recreate incredible sceneries by using digital tools and reach a much wider number of people. This is the future.
Fendi fashion show in Rome’s Colosseum
Did you work at similar events also for jeanswear or sportswear brands? Do they follow different directions?
I once organized a fashion show for Diesel in Venice. More recently I did it for a Chinese streetwear brand–Piecebird. That show was huge as the brand is sold in 2,500 stores there. Surely streetwear and sportswear have different testimonials and communication codes as, for instance, Stone Island for whom we shot a video that is now live on their website and is destined to be seen all over the world, including their local offices.
Thanks to our highly advanced technology we can produce multimedia high-quality videos presenting collections one can show to clients, agents and buyers. You can welcome your guests in a cool location or your showroom, make them feel comfortable, sit, have a drink and have them attend a global live streaming presentation cutting distances between Milan, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and New York. Though–even if you can watch them via iPad or cell phone I am still a big fan of movie theatres. One can get the strongest emotions by watching them via huge high-definition 8K screens.