Creative studio Blonde + Co has overseen production and post production on a branded content short for Facebook and Twitter.
H&M Foundation, the non-profit global foundation, privately funded by the founders and main owners of the fashion company H&M, and noted artist/director Jess English turned to Blonde + Co to handle production and post production on a new branded content piece in support of H&M Foundation’s initiative and the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
The short features H&M Foundation ambassador Alek Wek, the Sudanese model whose personal story mirrors the refugee crisis affecting millions around world, and will be seen internationally on both H&M’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.
“We got involved in the project through our relationship with Jess,” Grey Zisser, Blonde + Co Creative Director, says. “Given the current state of the refugee crisis around the world and H&M Foundation’s deep commitment to affecting positive change, we knew we wanted to help in anyway we could.”
For Blonde + Co that meant working with English and H&M Foundation’s creative team to bring their concept to life. Shot at Blonde + Co’s New York studio, the production team included Victor Larue and Jennifer Susswein. Additionally, Blonde + Co handled the entire post poduction process, led by editor Louie Metzner and colorist Izzy Cohen.
The video opens with a series of striking black and white close ups of Wek that manage to capture both her innate beauty, as well as a sense of her worldliness due to a personal biography that includes her own refugee experience, immigrating to London from Sudan as a teenager following civil war, and a quick rise to become one of the most sought after models in fashion today.
Those initial images of Wek give way to a montage of her at work on a fashion shoot. Her voiceover is intercut with shots of Wek speaking directly to the camera about her personal story and the ambitions of the H&M Foundation’s campaign to assist refugee children in getting the educational resources they desperately need.
For Zisser and the Blonde + Co production and post team, the opportunity to work on something whose goals go far beyond merely promoting a brand or product, proved to be inspiring.
“At Blonde + Co, we want to work on projects that support social causes we care about, and that’s why we jumped at this opportunity,” Zisser adds. “What H&M Foundation is doing for UNHCR is vital and we’re proud to play a part in helping effectively get the word out about this important initiative.”
Adds Diana Amini, Global Manager for H&M Foundation, “Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than other children. This is why providing the supplies they need to go to school is so crucial. With this donation, UNHCR can ensure an education for many children in crisis settings across the world.”