Kyle Andrew • Cubavera • Self-shot Campaign

Kyle Andrew writes for MR Magazine about self-shooting Cubavera's Fall/Winter 2020 Campaign...

The current restrictions and practical limitations surrounding travel have undoubtedly affected the fashion industry. Marketing initiatives have been hampered by the temporary inability to come together. When it came time to launch the new collection of Cubavera menswear (a Perry Ellis International label) the team had to think of a new strategy for their marketing initiatives. As the face of their big and tall collection, I was unavailable to travel from Toronto (where I am based) to Miami to shoot their campaign as I would normally do. So instead the new collection was sent north to Canada and it was agreed upon by all parties that I would shoot it myself. This proved to be a challenge not without its complications and unforeseen challenges, but in the end, I believe I was able to come up with something that is befitting of the lifestyle that Cubavera promotes to its customers.

BRIDGE Model's Kyle Andrew self-shoots Cubavera's Fall/Winter 2020 Campaign
Kyle Andrew x Cubavera Big and Tall Fall/Winter 2020

The idea was to simply send me the new collection and have me quickly shoot in a few of the outfits so that Cubavera could display the new pieces to their customers. However, my initial thoughts were to do more and have this project become more. To me, Cubavera is as much about a lifestyle and a feeling as it is about articles of clothing, and I set off planning to create a series of images that would capture exactly that. I’ve noted in the past that during Cubavera campaign shoots it always felt like more than simply wearing their clothes and trying to make them look good, rather, Cubavera felt like a lifestyle, a way of life, and an attitude. So in creating content for this new season, I wanted my work to reflect that feeling. When we shoot their campaigns in Miami, we have a large team of image-makers and professionals working in cohesion to capture that lifestyle, which is the essence of the label. I spoke with brand marketing director Luis Toro extensively leading up to my own production to make certain I was on the right track. Luis had worked with my agent Christian Alexander of Front Management Miami on this collaboration, and Christian had noted my photography background when pulling this idea together. 

BRIDGE Model's Kyle Andrew self-shoots Cubavera's Fall/Winter 2020 Campaign
Kyle Andrew x Cubavera Big and Tall Fall/Winter 2020
BRIDGE Model's Kyle Andrew self-shoots Cubavera's Fall/Winter 2020 Campaign

“For the Cubavera brand, Kyle Andrew is a true gem,” says Luis Toro, director of marketing at Cubavera. “For a long time, we were looking for a Big and Tall model that would embody the #CubaveraMan traits of positivity, confidence, passion. A guy that seeks authenticity and individuality but is effortlessly sexy. A true gentleman that likes to #FeelGoodLookGood inspiring others through their work and values. And Kyle is exactly that in a big and tall presentation. When it came time to entrust him with conceptualizing our big and tall creative, we had full confidence knowing he understood our brand’s message.”

BRIDGE Model's Kyle Andrew self-shoots Cubavera's Fall/Winter 2020 Campaign
Kyle Andrew x Cubavera Big and Tall Fall/Winter 2020

With the initial conversations had, I moved to assemble my own team which for obvious reasons needed to be kept small. I would be serving as both the model and photographer. I tapped a videographer and creative named Jay Perry (whom also happens to be one of my best friends and one of the few people I’ve spent time with during our new COVID-19 reality) to shoot both the video for this campaign and act as my technical consultant, as we both shoot with the exact same camera gear. Finally, I concluded the next most important person to have on set would be a stylist to set the tone for each image and ensure the clothing would look optimal. The plan was also to have the stylist firing the shutter from my iPad Pro, but more on that technical setup shortly.

Kyle Andrew x Cubavera Big and Tall Fall/Winter 2020

I pre-scouted the location(s) earlier in the week to ensure smoothness the day of. Another gracious friend provided access to his stunning home for the bulk of the shooting. Being organized and efficient became a priority to minimize the intrusion on other peoples day to day lives. Jay and I quickly discussed our COVID-19 protocol for the shooting day (masks indoors always, masks around the homeowners if applicable, hand sanitization stations), and from there the shots were planned in advance and laid out on the iPad. Finally, the weather was checked and the shoot day was chosen.

Quotes taken from MR Magazine. Click here to read the full article!