Cole Haan is taking its ZeroGrand lightweight shoe into the air. For its fall ’15 campaign, the brand brought together two female principal dancers and one corps de ballet dancer from the New York City Ballet and two male parkour athletes. The group leaped, danced and bounced around the TWA Flight Center in Queens for the shoot.
The TWA Flight Center is the futuristic design of architect Eero Saarinen, who created the building in 1962 as the terminal for Trans World Airlines at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“Cole Haan was a 34-year-old company when Saarinen’s terminal opened in 1962,” said David Maddocks, chief marketing officer and GM of business development at Cole Haan. “As a leading maker of American dress and casual footwear at that time, Cole Haan [shoes have] made [their] way through that terminal many times before. So we’d like to think of this as a return trip,” he said.
The campaign is also meant to highlight the company’s Global Innovation Center, which opened in February 2015 at Cole Haan’s headquarters in Greenland, New Hampshire. There, the company works on design platforms such as the Grand.OS, which is used in its ZeroGrand style.
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In a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot, the dancers and Cole Haan’s creative team describe the thought process that fed into the campaign.
“The thing that kind of drew me to it was the idea of ‘take flight,’ which is something that comes very naturally to those dancers,” said Cole Haan design director Elyse Siegal.
Andy Gray, Cole Haan’s brand creative director, explained that they chose dancers and parkour athletes because “their great strength is to see a space and decide what they can do within it.”
The final product captures the group in impressively elegant poses. The ballet dancers also collaborated with Cole Haan to create the ZeroGrand Stagedoor Ballet Flat for fall ’15. Dancer Sara Mearns said the goal was to bring the lightweight design of the shoe to life.
“It challenged the whole cast to think of how creatively we could bring lightness, flexibility, and cushioning to life visually with our movement,” said Mearns.
The behind-the-scenes video will be featured on ColeHaan.com, the brand’s social media channels and on the Cole Haan iPhone app.