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Campaign

La Nuit, by Matthew Roland Bannister

Paris, September 2021: This fall, Au Départ Paris takes a journey to the mystery of the night. In a new campaign, “La Nuit,” created by maverick creative director Matthew Roland Bannister, Au Dèpart explores its playful and sultry nature, demonstrating the evening’s possibility accompanied by the luxurious yet functional bags.

Debuting in time for the la rentree —the French return to life after summer vacation—the campaign broadcasted on Au Départ’s social channels. The mysterious and tempting films explore the enigma of life after dark with leather goods, games, and travel accouterment. The creative director looked to the iconic 1965 French film Pierrot le Fou by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo for inspiration, precisely the party sequence. The protagonist Belmondo moves through various conversations in the scene, all relatively meaningless but visually engaging as the lighting changes colors. Similarly, the “La Nuit” campaign creates six ‘moments,’ each film featuring core Au Départ Paris styles as stars, with sets expressing a different color background. According to Bannister, an ambient soundtrack draws the viewer into the scene to sit ‘somewhere between fantasy and reality.’ The moments in order of release are as follows: “The Thief” featuring the Grand Europe tote; “The Dance” featuring the Pochette Carreau Gold and the Micro Soft Trunk Horizontal; “The Reader” featuring the L’Elysées day bag; “The Match” featuring Au Départ’s Squared chessboard; “The Cat” featuring Au Départ’s PS5 backpack and “The Aftermath” featuring the Odeon de Voyage tote. “The films are stylised takes on mundane moments that occur at night, each based around a product,” explains Bannister of the less than 20-second reels. “In The Thief, for instance, the actress sees a bag, and after checking to see if someone is looking, she takes it and walks off-screen.” It’s a playful irreverence intrinsic to the French brand. “There was an element of fantasy to Au Départ’s earliest advertising; illustrations that brought a dreamlike quality to the everyday.” A series of teaser videos will help set the tone of the series on social media before the campaign rolls out completely. The campaign was shot in London over two days by photographer Benjamin Pexton, who made his film directorial debut in the series. Each film accompanies two still-life images of related products, thus proposing six Au Départ archetypes based on taste and needs. Bannister, whose CV includes renowned agencies such as Lloyd & Co., Wednesday, Chandelier Creative and campaigns for Moncler Genius, Calvin Klein, and Coach, among others, was drawn to the French brand for its rich heritage and storytelling potential. “Au Départ as a house is rich in history, but also offers an exciting opportunity to tell new stories, connecting with French culture and reference points.” He sees room to explore other aspects of French culture via art, cinema, and creativity, especially with the various lifestyle products that allow peering into other worlds. “Matthew understood the DNA behind the brand and approached it with what it meant for him,” said Au Départ Paris CEO Gianfranco Maccarrone. “He shows another point of view for our products. Our images have been sophisticated and somewhat romantic, but he gives them a new vision of fashion and cool. He didn’t just push it a bit; he took the vision 180 degrees without forgetting the brand.”

Micro Soft Trunk Monogram Red

Micro Soft Trunk Monogram Red

Nano Trunk in Orange Reflective Jacquard and Monogram Black

Nano Trunk in Orange Reflective Jacquard and Monogram Black

Carreau Gold Clutch

Carreau Gold Clutch

Boite de Lux Monogram Black

Boite de Lux Monogram Black

Bercy Tote in Black Reflective Jacquard

Bercy Tote in Black Reflective Jacquard

Elysées in Orange Reflective Jacquard

Elysées in Orange Reflective Jacquard

Watch Winder

Watch Winder

Backgammon Smart

Backgammon Smart

Chessboard Squared

Chessboard Squared

PS5 Backpack Trunk

PS5 Backpack Trunk

Sac à Dos Militaire Black Reflective Jacquard

Sac à Dos Militaire Black Reflective Jacquard

Roquette Horizontal Monogram Cognac

Roquette Horizontal Monogram Cognac

Roquette Vertical Black Reflective Jacquard

Roquette Vertical Black Reflective Jacquard