Exclusive Images: Bruce Weber for Shinola

  • Creative Director Daniel Caudill on the latest ad campaign, shot by the legendary US photographer, and why Detroit is the ultimate manufacturing city in America

    “Detroit is magical… it’s a little of everything. It’s contemporary. It’s vintage. It’s artful. It’s Rock & Roll. It’s sometimes pretty, sometimes gritty. It’s musical. It’s uplifting. It’s my city, and I love it.” So says the front page of the print publication Shinola has created in collaboration with photographer Bruce Weber for its 2014 campaign. Generally focused on the art of manufacturing and craftsmanship – especially when creating their Shinola bikes, bags and watches – the paper is filled with Weber’s images of Detroit locals, two of which we feature exclusively today. The Detroit-based company is celebrating their roots and the local work force, famous in the past for building cars. Today, even though the factory climate has drastically changed in Detroit, the city is still a centre for skilled craftsmen and traditional manufacturing techniques.

    David Hellqvist: What makes Detroit a unique city?

    Daniel Caudill: To us, the city is extremely inspiring – there’s a lot of optimism here. To be able to experience it first-hand is really exciting.

    David: How long and why has Shinola been based in Detroit?

    Daniel: The company has been based in Detroit since its inception in 2011. We made the decision to move to Detroit two years ago because of its great history, deep manufacturing roots and amazing creative talents. We are proud to call Detroit home and are committed to continuing to grow our company here. We strongly believe that Detroit is the best city in the US for Shinola to be based.

    David: In what way are Detroit and Shinola a good match; why does it make sense to manufacture there?

    Daniel: We chose Detroit because we are committed to the idea of manufacturing in the U.S., and when we were thinking about where to find skilled labourers and people already doing things with small components, it very quickly became about Detroit for us. It was a natural fit, and there was so much already happening there.Boy-&-bike bruce WeberDavid: Why ask Bruce Weber to shoot the images?

    Daniel: In its 2013 campaign, Shinola introduced the craftspeople behind our products, this year our goal is to continue to explore the beauty of manufacturing, while capturing the spirit of Detroit that drove us here in the first place – this led us to Bruce Weber. Responsible for some of the most memorable fashion campaigns of our age, we were excited by the idea of Weber returning to rediscover a city he photographed nearly a decade ago (Kate Moss in W Magazine, 2006).

  • David: Can you say something about the two images we are running?

    Daniel: Weber’s vision includes a varied group of locally-cast individuals – these are our neighbors, our colleagues, our collaborators — a celebration of the city through the lens of an American icon. The male pictured here is Dekarai Carter, a student at Wayne State. The little girl is the daughter of the man in charge of the Detroit Dog Rescue – an organisation bringing awareness and resources to homeless and stray dogs in Detroit.

    David: You make everything from bikes to watches, what is the red thread running through the products?

    Daniel: For Shinola, it’s all about quality. It is really about the combination of simple modern design, combined with quality manufacturing. We only grow into new product lines the moment we know we can develop them to the highest standard quality using US based experts and materials. From a styling perspective we are inspired by classic design, but our ultimate goal is to make products that feel modern.

    Text David Hellqvist
    Photography Bruce Weber

    More info on Shinola HEREGirl-&-dog Bruce Weber