Rihanna Holding Wine Glasses in Street Was the Initial Inspiration for Louis Vuitton Campaign, Says Director Martine Syms

The campaign's director told Complex that Rihanna's style on and off the streets served as inspiration for the visual.

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Rihanna’s recent Louis Vuitton campaign almost went in a different direction.  

In a conversation with Complex’s Aria Hughes, artist Martine Syms detailed the inspiration behind Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Spring-Summer 2024 video campaigns starring the “Diamonds” singer and LeBron James. Rihanna’s visual was released in June, whereas James’ campaign debuted on Tuesday. 

The opportunity to direct the visuals came to the 36-year-old after she received a phone call from the team of Pharell Williams, who would eventually become the fashion brand’s artistic director. 

Syms said she imagined the opening sequences of movies and the energy of the streets when brainstorming concepts for the campaigns. 

“I was thinking about all these amazing images of [Rihanna] walking on the street with wine glasses,” the artist told Complex, adding that she had a lingering idea in her mind of “everyday carry.”

"With Rihanna, I was thinking about all these amazing images of her walking on the street with wine glasses." 🍷

Artist Martine Syms, the director behind Rihanna and LeBron James' SS24 Louis Vuitton video campaigns, details what inspired the concepts. ⬇️https://t.co/JdeOQzfUIQ pic.twitter.com/MX9618OaWC

— Complex Style (@ComplexStyle) January 9, 2024
Twitter: @ComplexStyle

Syms continued, “It is a term people use online for what they pack every day, but it’s more associated with survivalists or camping gear. But I like the idea of thinking about it as like, carry. Like I’m doing the most. And the bag is something you want to be with you every day. So I was thinking about Rihanna being this icon of the people. We love her. And obviously we’ve seen her in 100 percent glam at the Met Gala or in videos, but she’s even like that when we see her on the street.”

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However, Rihanna’s pregnancy at the time meant the artist had to axe the wine glass prop with a cup of coffee taking its place. "I mean, it made me not include the wine glass. That was the original vision but we kind of couldn’t do that,” she said.

With LeBron, Syms said she wanted him “to just look really hot.”

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“LeBron has this perfect skin. He’s in amazing shape. And I don’t feel like we always get to see Black men in that way,” she said. “And LeBron was wearing the suiting collection. And he wore these pajamas with paintings from Henry Taylor. And he was wearing this pearl necklace. All the accessories were just really lush and kind of textured. So that was something I was wanting with him. I wanted the LeBron campaign to actually feel a little bit more aspirational in that way.”

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