Lacoste take their brain to another dimension with the New York ‘unconventional talent’ strand of their SS12 campaign.
The unconventional talents under the crocodile shaped spotlight are street tape artist Aakash Nihalani, Amanda Warner from electro duo MNDR and Leyla Safai from the hip hop group/ ice cream van travellers HeartsChallenger. Three very talented, extra-ordinary people creatively inspired by the city they live in. Incorporating Aakash’s graphic works into the campaign images, photographed by The Cobrasnake (i-N conversation here), Lacoste have successfully lifted their campaign off the page and onto real, relevant people. It’s real clever.
i-D online spoke to Amanda Warner, the blonde talent with a great speaking voice and famous singing voice about music, art and styling out the crocodile.
Why do you think you were chosen to be part of this project? Lacoste was looking for independent artists in New York who were inspired by the city.
How did you meet? I believe Lacoste was introduced to MNDR through the other band I play in which is Mark Ronson and The Business International.
‘Feed Me Diamonds’ pays homage to Marina Abramović, why does she inspire you? She is an artist who is willing to take risks and is inspired by nature, politics, injustice, love and heartbreak. It was really a magical experience when I went to see her month-long exhibition and installation at MoMA. I was reading up on her; she spoke about how kings were overthrown and murdered by being force fed diamonds. Over time the diamonds would eventually cause them to bleed out through their digestive system. I thought it was so poetic. Dark, decadent…beautiful and horrific.
Does art influence your music often? Sometimes it does. I think for this album I was influenced by heroines and emotions.
What are your favourite Lacoste pieces and how do you style them? I really love their new neon side bags and their classic tennis cardigan. They are functional and seem to work with my tattered clothes.
How would you define your style? Functional tomboy. Let’s get sweaty.
What’s your favourite thing about New York? I can do whatever I want whenever I want. It is the only city like that.
What’s on your summer soundtrack? I love the new Miike Snow album. I have been listening to J. Dilla and I can’t get enough of KWES. 2012 is proving to be an unstoppable end of the earth year in music.
How did you get into electro music? I guess I got into it via experimental, noise, and rave music.
Who is your dream collaborator? Anyone I can connect with, where we don’t need to speak words, but can communicate just through playing and improvisation. It is difficult to find that sort of musical dialogue with someone. In fantasy dragon land, I think it would be fun to play some music with Carole King or maybe Sunn O or Adrian Belew.
Go hunting for crocodiles at the Lacoste L!VE stores on Newburgh Street and Boxpark in Shoreditch.
Text: Sarah Raphael