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Shinola x Bruce Weber

Fashion photographer Bruce Weber teamed up with the American manufacturing brand Shinola for their new campaign. Known for their handcrafted watches, bicycles, and leather goods, Shinola wanted to capture the true essence of their Detroit-based brand.

Originally a shoe polish company when it first launched in 1907, Shinola was revived in 2011 with a brand relaunch, focusing on watches. With its manufacturing based in Detroit, the brand’s Americana identity is key to its aesthetic. In the new campaign, The Spirit of Detroit, Bruce Weber’s classic black-and-white photographs shine light on the lively, optimistic community.

A Midwest native himself, Bruce Weber’s work often has a natural, documentary-like vibe to it. For his collaboration with Shinola, he focuses on the local people of Detroit as he photographs them and model Carolyn Murphy around the city.

“His vision includes a varied group of locally-casted individuals photographed alongside familiar face, Carolyn Murphy, who epitomizes the independent spirit of the American tomboy.  These are our neighbors, our colleagues, our collaborators—a celebration of the city through the lens of an American icon.” 

The Spirit of Detroit campaign also includes an array of short videos that can be viewed on their Vimeo account. The videos showcase a number of the locals showing off their spirited personalities. From a young girl rapping about her academic accomplishments and dreams of being the president to an older man singing a capella, Weber’s shorts give viewers a taste of Detroit’s talent and energy.

With the recent revival of this old-school label, Shinola has already successfully reestablished themselves as a modern brand with traditional, high-quality designs. Currently flagships are in Detroit and New York City, but Shinola plans on bringing branches to a number of other cities in 2014, including Chicago, Minneapolis, and Washington DC. With their plans for expansion, Shinola’s campaign with Bruce Weber will help remind customers of their true Detroit roots.

-Lizzy Halberstadt

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