It’s (finally) time that everyone sees the sidewalk as a runway again — to throw on a hot pink suit for the regular 9-to-5 or a neon cocktail dress for a bodega run and beyond. Our latest brand campaign, “The World is Your Runway,” is our manifesto to looking and feeling great, no matter the occasion. It’s all about embracing fashion’s potential to be transformative — life as we see it should be colorful, fabulous and anything but boring.
Emmy Award-winning film director and photographer Danielle Levitt was the clear choice to help bring our vision to life. She embodies the confident, animated spirit of fashion and our beloved NYC, and knows how to turn any commute into a catwalk. Below, we chatted with Levitt about the shoot, representation and fashion that makes you feel unstoppable.
RTR: What does “The World is Your Runway” mean to you?
Danielle Levitt: “The World is Your Runway” is about seizing life. When you feel the pull to [put on] that walk, it’s an opportunity to remind yourself that you are fierce, beautiful and powerful.
RTR: What attracted you to this project?
DL: The project is my life’s anthem; it’s confident and bold, fun and fashion. I wanted to make a film that led with joy, something to make us feel alive.
“I wanted to make a film that led with joy, something to make us feel alive.”
RTR: What has been your favorite scene to shoot so far? Why?
DL: I loved it all, I can’t really break it down so easily, but I’ll say this…I did one scene in my brother’s restaurant with people I knew as the cast of characters, and I felt proud that I could have them all with me.
RTR: Diversity and representation have always been pillars of your creative work. Could you speak to the importance of them in this campaign, but also, in the fashion world in general?
DL: “You can’t be what you cannot see!” It is the collective’s responsibility to fight the too-many social injustices. I’ve spent my career aware that representation is paramount and felt that it was my duty to present work that uses a chorus of voices to speak to many. We found an amazing cast to represent our film — their diversity is an honest reflection of people who love fashion.
RTR: How did the magic of NYC, especially after a challenging year like 2020, lend itself to setting the right tone for this campaign?
DL: There is no time like the present to feel alive and to be thankful for togetherness, both physical and emotional. Using the streets of New York City as a background, we could not help but ingest its energy; it was fuel for the flame.
“Using the streets of New York City as a background, we could not help but ingest its energy; it was fuel for the flame.”
RTR: Tell us about your background. How did you come to start directing?
DL: I’ve been a photographer since I was 10, I love storytelling. So when stills cameras became both stills and motion cameras, I added directing to my repertoire, interviewing and filming the subjects that were in front of my lens. It was an organic process, I had to teach myself. I learned how to direct while directing.
My work was always rooted in social conversations so in 2015 when the Ad Council needed a director to direct “Love Has No Labels,” a spot to remind us of the power of humanity and equality, I was given the opportunity. I had little experience as a formal “director” but a life’s work in visibility made me uniquely perfect for the job and in the end we garnered the world’s attention, won tons of awards, and I got an Emmy!!
RTR: What is fashion to you?
DL: Fashion is the armor I wear to show you who I am, the face I show the world that allows me to explore and play and create.
“Fashion is the armor I wear to show you who I am, the face I show the world that allows me to explore and play and create.”
RTR: Describe your personal style in only a few words.
DL: Jeans and tank, something to show off the muscles in my arms that I have to work so hard for!
RTR: Describe your power outfit. What look makes you feel uber confident, like the world is your runway?
DL: A Rick Owens mocha wide shoulder crop jacket with matching tank, a lace bra, fitted vintage 70s Levi’s and a cowboy boot.
To learn more about “The World is Your Runway” head here.