For the needs of campaign we met with the representatives of nouveau riche movement to study their natural habitat. Meanwhile our photographer Filip Nesterowicz was shooting Vitaliy and Tony playing their regular Monday golf match, we took a lap around Giovanni’s parents mansion in his 911.
Next up we drove to Vitaliy’s palace of joy. While everybody was bored to death, juggling Tony’s chains in the hall, our host introduced us to his daily routine. Private chef-made lunch and a cold jacuzzi bath - checked. Relaxing massage from one of his girls afterwards to chill down before doing real business – checked. Assuming the vision of upcoming night, boys were already cooking up for the night at his strip-club. But we couldn’t go out unless we got rid of the trash Vitaliy left yesterday in the garden.
So we did. The rest is a story we can’t tell yet.
When you chase the better version of yourself, you’ve got to know which attributes do you lack. That’s why people always try to cover up their imperfections with the looks they fit in and there’s nothing wrong to it. But when you’re new to the game, you may as well choose whoever or whatever you want to be from the very beginning. You don’t have to be authentic, you don’t even have to belong. Just pick up your talents.
It is a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater career mode kind of thing. Transform your self-proclaimed charm into vivid sex-appeal, unfurl your teenage nonchalance into bound-free extravagance. But what’s all that when you have prosperity? In the end, maybe you can project yourself into different game. Imagine you’re in Vice City, melting on your white snakeskin leather couch in mythical Vercetti Estates while bumping Gangstarr – Mass Appeal. Build your own heritage with the character you desire to be and insure your future. Propel your career getting into persona of different charisma. Feel respected. Be a businessman, a car dealer, be a pimp, a club owner. At least be somebodywhen you finally have the money to flex.
In Chapter Eight we continue to explore the life of Nouveau Riche. This time we tried to rediscover the paths of one’s way to drive their career through the early 00s East-Central Europe reality and revive the tastes these paths were correlated to. When things started to significantly shift from post-communist aesthetics to the western vision of life and well-being. It was inevitable that people’s sense of style would be crooked. Either by overwhelming possibilities or the looks perpetuated by media such as TV and colorful celebrity magazines.
Some of them successfully grew their businesses and transitioned from being a marketplace owner to running a chain of solarium points, starting a Chinese restaurant or maybe even involving in the underworld of selling stolen cars and kidnapping. They took a fresh gasp of this new money and started spending it on rides, electronics, interiors and clothing. But the way of expressing yourself through such things, especially clothes, isn’t easy when you’re just not used to it. This often got to the point when they started distorting the rich looks and put well-made luxury products in a kitschy forms. But it wasn’t recognized as bad taste yet, so it had been constantly replicated and lived on giving a platform to build a new aesthetic within the meanings of nouveau riche terminology.
Having no artistic knowledge, these people were in love with mixing Versace furniture with gold-plated accessories and antique patterns. There was a common thought that keeping a deer head with antlers above the fireplace is the emanation of your status. Clutch bag filled with the pawnshop money and business cards as the inseparable partner of black leather jacket and a turtleneck while exiting your convertible. And there was definitely no chance you couldn’t afford at least one puffy fur for your woman. Of course, you had to spend your free time in pricey places, probably drinking a glass of Aperol-Spritz après-ski in your pimped out mountain parka filled with alpine gadgets. But nothing lasts forever and the business won’t run itself, so you soon drove back east to grab the market by the balls and squeeze every possible penny just to buy another Gucci loafers. Or maybe you’re still a kid inside, so you just flex around capital “doing things” in your coach jacket with a graphic hoodie and side-striped trackpants. Visiting strip-clubs at Saturday night. When needing to add a little bit of flair to it, you just put on your shiny bomber and a tee with cubic zirconia so you could bling from the lounge.
Tony - Runs a chain of jewellery stores. Has eight bedrooms, never smiles. People constantly tell him that he should get a bodyguard. But do you need any security if you’re always strapped? Nobody f*#%& around when you’re running with two G37 GLOCKs.
Vitaliy - High-end strip-club owner. His girls love him, so does his family ($$$). Always leaves big tips while dining in Michelin-starred restaurants. Plays tennis with TV stars and president on a daily basis. Also a casino cheater and a sexoholic.
Giovanni - Spoiled kid. On his 18th birthday he got a 911 from the father who sells “pre-owned” cars. Likes snowboarding in St. Moritz and blondes. Always causes trouble. He’s trying to start a business with antique furniture. Probably sells coke though.
In the process of creating Chapter Seven we were inspired by the lifestyle of nouveau riche, who lived in the East-Central Europe at the turn of 90/00s. The main status indicator of nouveau riche were such things as possessing a gold decorated house with a big swimming pool, sport coupé with a V12 engine and wearing an "italian leather jacket" bought on holidays in Hurghada. Worn of course with a side-stripe trackpants. Worship of speed was very strong at that time. Cars had to be extremely fast, music BPM had to be high. It was believed that a Motorola V3 or Siemens C35i was an absolute peak of development. This all has made it possible to distinguish nouveau riche from the mediocrity.
Photo shoots were taken in Sopot. The city which during the dusk of the previous millennium was associated with pageantry, extravagance and the lifestyle of the nouveau riche. At the time in Sopot many Western-European businessmen and sports stars could have been seen and along with them their expensive and eye-catching cars. All this worked like a magnet for the people, who strove to keep up with the standard of the western life and eventually influenced our choice of the place for our latest campaign. BMW E31 that can be seen in some of the photos was located on a plaza vis-a-vis the Grand Hotel, making it a peculiar relic of the lifestyle led by East-Central European nouveau riche. Session was complemented in places such as an old school GSM store, a post-communist apartment, which glares with its fake golden details, and the local solarium. Models represent the classical eastern pulchritude. Behind the camera lens stands the young and talented Jakub Owczarek, who despite the illness of eyes - inter alia nystagmus - takes photos which perfectly slot in the raw and sometimes absurd vibe of East-Central Europe freshly torn away from the claws of communism.