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Jahved Crockett on Communicating Contemporary Haute Couture

The way a statement is made may change but the talent behind its success does not. It is undeniable that a new generation of consumers seeks, purchases, and connects with fashion in a much different way than any before. For a name as iconic as Valentino, this means communicating with admirers of their designs and campaigns via an online dialogue. Websites, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are where the public spends a vast amount of their time and thus where brands like Valentino focus an increasing amount of effort. A key recent component of this for the Italian fashion giant has been Jahved Crockett. His work on numerous productions for Valentino has increased their online attention, including the recent Instagram video featuring Kaia Jordan Gerber (Cindy Crawford’s daughter). Following his work in the incredibly successful Valentino Men’s FW18-19 project, Crockett was asked to create, highlight, and edited these videos which presented Kaia in a surreal ethereal reality style, among others.

The demand for instant gratification; that is a possible way to describe Crockett’s work process for this project. Receiving footage from the show each day in Paris, he toiled until the early hours of the morning to provide timely content correlating with each day’s offerings. Hype for the show was steamrolling. Though it wasn’t ideal for him to art direct and provide explanations of what he needed from another country, the results testify to the exceptional skill and communication of Jahved and his team. These videos were created specifically for social media sites as well as Valentino’s official website. With 13.1 million Instagram followers, the impact of this one platform alone is massive. For an artist and professional like Crockett, there are restrictions that necessitate assimilation. He describes, “Creating videos for Instagram is always a challenge as they have to be quite short because people have small attention spans on social media. The full show was fourteen minutes long and I had to reduce that down to thirty seconds. It always breaks my heart when I have to cut beautiful footage but you have to be ruthless or you get nowhere. It’s a shame that some long beautiful moments can’t be shown. Instagram stories also have to be cut down to ten seconds from fifteen seconds to keep peoples’ attention.”

A Haute Couture show comes with ample excess and encouraged creativity. Any artist would shirk at the notion of trimming another’s expression; for Jahved this was a well thought out and necessary path. The two videos are as dramatic in their Instagram presentation as the outfits themselves. Kaia Jordan Gerber is seen walking the runway in an ostrich feathered dress in one while a sparkling deep green pailleté chiffon Liza Minnelli inspired cape adorns another transfixing model in the other. The operatic music which accompanies both (courtesy of famed Soprano Maria Callas) while gliding in slow motion, is an accent both very Italian and very Valentino. Jahved slowed down the video footage and overlaid two scenes to create this ethereal effect. These two clips alone received between nearly 100,000 and a quarter of a million views. The reaction to these incredibly brief clips was overwhelming, an obvious nod to their presentation and the content. Jahved admits to finding satisfaction in the fact that he can filter the Haute Couture style into a seconds long video that will reach hundreds of thousands all across the planet within mere hours. This is a sure sign that the reach of social media continues to expand for professionals like him and huge companies like Valentino.

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