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by Gianluca Isaia

15 JUL 2015

"Napule è mille culure"
"Napoli is a thousand colors"

by Gianluca Isaia

This time I think we may have gone too far with our usual provocative advertising. Taking a shot at Italian football – and Neapolitan football in particular – is almost breaking a taboo and committing a sacrilege. After all, we are just paying tribute to and expressing our love for the eternal magic of football and our glorious local team with humor and from an amusing, lighthearted perspective, which is the way we like it. Try coming to Napoli during any home game or when the team plays away. Perennially teeming with life, always bustling with traffic and echoing with a thousand voices and noises, the city suddenly appears deserted and surreal when the game starts, as if it has fallen under the mysterious spell of a witch descending from the Vesuvius.

Enrico Isaia and Maradona getting fitted

Until the fateful 90th minute, the sound of the rasping running commentary of the game that occasionally breaks through the wall of silence that is as taut as a violin cord, the explosion of a few colorful interjections during the plays, the excited exhortations to the players, Saint Januarius and his colleagues in heaven and, finally, the string of fierce and colorful invectives and invocations so that the "seccia", the darkest jinx, strikes the adversaries, lets you understand that there is still life within the walls of these homes and that all the Neapolitans – united as one – are consumed by a single cathartic act of passion.

We expressed that passion through the gorgeous female models/football players in our institutional campaign which was shot by the young Dutch photographer Philippe Vogelenzang. We tried to blend a cocktail made of fashion and sports reportage. It was freezing and there was a cold, nasty winter rain that day during the shoot, and at one point it turned into a real game with everyone present participating. We had a ball on the football field in the foggy Milanese outskirts on a frigid day of late November. However, the energy level – and I think you can immediately see it from the photos – was sky-high. The players were fierce and increasingly competitive, performing super-star plays. They took the challenge very seriously.

In the midst of it all was our man, impeccable in his windowpane check suit: an ironic gentleman representing traditional yet contemporary style, even in the most violent melee. The collection was inspired by "Neapolitan Power", a fervid period of creative and cultural renaissance that invested the city after the terrible blow inflicted upon it by the 1980 earthquake. Back then, it seemed our world had ended and there would be no tomorrow. And yet Napoli survived, as it had countless times over the centuries and in endless moments of crisis. The colors we chose come from the paintings of Andy Warhol, an artist who had formed a close bond with Napoli in the eighties as had Josef Beuys, thanks to the legendary art dealer Lucio Amelio and to the extraordinary "Terrae Motus" exhibit that Amelio had organized at Villa Campolieto.

It was a decade of exceptional Neapolitan creativity whose effects are still very much alive and powerful. It was as memorable as the moving and sublime poetry of the songs of Pino Daniele, who was a child of the times, or the raspy voice and mediumistic words of Enzo Gragnagniello, the theater and cinema of Annibale Ruccello and Mario Martone, and the pulsing night of City Hall. That's because – closing this chat with a tribute to the marvelous Pino Daniele – "Napule è mille culure" [Napoli is a thousand colors].