Pierre Winther is a photographer, film director and artist. His unique and powerful trademark look can be seen in global advertising campaigns, music videos and editorial work.
He has a won many accolades for his work and has a loyal group of creative collaborators who return project after project. In Winther’s world you will often notice heightened reality, dark humour,
and a nod to current societal and human behaviour. His cinematic art style is timeless, breath-taking, sometimes a little dangerous and by preference, executed without any digital manipulation translated into award-winning commissions for Richmond Group, Finlandia, Dunhill, Hugo Boss, Nike, and JVC. Winther enjoys both a cult and commercial following because of experimental, yet iconic campaigns for brands like Diesel and Levi’s, Hugo Boss, Dunhill as a result, Pierre Winther’s work has pushed the awareness of various brands to higher levels.
Winther has been the creative director of several world-wide campaigns, among others Dunhill, Diesel, Diesel Style Lab, Levi’s, Hugo Boss, Nike, LEGO, Energie Jeans, Finlandia vodka, OPEL, Axe, Reebok, Smirnoff, MTV, Coca Cola, Sony, BMW, JVC, Just to name a few.
Pierre Winther’s editorial projects have appeared in such magazines as The Face, Vogue and magazines alike. Also, Pierre Winther’s exploits form the natural basis of music videos and covers for INXS, Tricky, Björk, Nicolette/Massive Attack, Beastie Boys etc.
FEW SELECTED PROJECTS :
Pierre Winther´s collaboration with DIESEL JEANS paved the way for a new direction in image and style. In collaboration with the Diesel HQ and the agency Paradiset from Stockholm, Winther created and realized the campaign „Successful Living“ which combined a complex staging and grotesque scenarios such as a car crash or a bizarre church event. The campaign broke the pattern of common perception: The images caused a worldwide hype; consumers collected the sought after posters and other materials. The Diesel brand itself experienced a quantum leap in the matter of image that evolved to one of the leading Denim brands around the globe. It paved the way for Diesel´s founder Renzo Rosso to become one of the most successful fashion entrepreneurs in the world with a net worth of $3 billion.
Helmut Newton Interview by Michael Kaplan, Graphis, Sep/Oct 2002. in this Interview with Helmut Newton he comments on the Diesel Campaign "whoever did the Diesel campaign was brilliant!" and refers to the highly successful campaign "Successful Living" that was created for Diesel Italy by Pierre Winther.
Outtake Interview with Pierre Winther :
coming from : going to :
The Car Crash, 1994
House of Love, 1993
Italian fashion entrepreneur Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel and president of OTB sits in the main office of his sprawling empire.
A self-portrait, shot by Pierre Winther in 2000 still adorn the walls at the new Diesel HQ in Breganze/ Italy.
Project for: INXS
No, it was only Michael and his manager I spoke to about the upcoming project for them. As I said, Micheael liked the Diesel images I did back in `93, specifically the car crash. He liked that my images felt like images out of a movie and the whole look and feel. I listened to the music from Elegantly Wasted and it was the title song that inspired me the most. So I developed a concept for them with a fluorescent green and red car as a trademark for their record artwork. They appear in most of the images from the shoot. Each member of the band was to play a role in this concept with their own special outfits. For Michael I had chosen the role of a former jet fighter and he was going to wear the jet fighter suit that I had often been wearing in London. His character was that of an ex pilot fighter who got a bit “lost in translation”. The girl that you see in most of the images was casted to take over Michaels role as the front figure. Michael didn´t want to have the leading role, he wanted to be more in background as one of the band members. The shooting took place over 12 days in the LA area. It was planned more as a movie production then an ordinary record shoot. We were almost filming day and night and it seemed like we were all in character – in a sort of collective trance. We all were a part of it, even me as the director played my role. Michael was really into it. As I marketing stunt I suggested to have those fluorescent cars driving around key cities, like NYC and Paris on the day of the release of the record. In London a fluorescent car was hanging over the Thames from a crane. Michael was very enthusiastic about the project and by it all coming together. He later told me, it was his favourite shoot and it made him so happy.
‘Elegantly Wasted’ shows an excessive lifestyle, crashing sports cars, illuminated driveways, and a lot of fun within the absurd. The pictures were used as cover art and promotion material for de new INXS album. To coincide with the release and provide a link to the real world, London, Paris, and New York served as locations. One of the cars was suspended over the Thames from a crane. ‘Elegantly Wasted’ was realized for INXS.
Opel staged the world premiere of the Astra in autumn 2015 with an exceptional marketing campaign: in a stunt video, the new star of the compact class jumps over five vehicles from the premium segment, proving that it is a true ‘quantum leap’ for the brand. Opel Chief Marketing Officer Müller: “The quantum leap video and the entire Astra campaign are part of the Opel brand’s new positioning that we launched with “Umparken im Kopf” and successfully continued with “Neuen OH!”. The films are an expression of our new self-confidence, as we are setting standards in the compact class segment with the Astra.” Opel produced the quantum leap film as a kick-off for the entire Astra campaign with Pierre Winther as well as the agency Scholz & Friends. Pierre Winther was invited to expand the idea around “the jump” and co-responsible for a fresh, new look at Opel.
Concept for: Lego
“Almost Real” is a film that shows the imaginary world of Lego using real and authentic moments of life, yet integrating the magical element, the transformation from the real world into the magical one.The idea behind the project is to add objects made up from Lego Blocksinto every day life. The story is told and seen from the point of view of a young boy. The playfulness of kids and the playfulness we have once experienced as children and the real and unreal momentum is the subject in the imagery. The film enhances certain moments illustrating the magic and creativity the LEGO block portrays.
THE NEW LEGO WORLD
The New Lego World is two realities sharing the same space and time. The first is reality is the everyday; a polite dinner parties in the suburbs, a distracting phone call from the office. The second reality is that of the imagination, and has the potential to ignite the child’s mind in all of us. This reality has no limitations, and only exists for those playful and brave individuals who dare to see it. Artists are able to translate this reality to us. Today’s most vibrant and visionary artists will be are able, through Lego, to create the link uniting our everyday reality with our limitless imagination. For The New Lego World, artists will create original artwork that is a window into this world. The potential of this project is huge. Through the artwork of professional visual artists, Lego has the ability to create both an ongoing and engaging conversation with a dynamic and diverse audience, and to also create a public fundraising program for donating to charitable causes that speak to Lego’s core values.
Concept by Pierre Winther © Pierre Winther Studio
“Nothing Beats Reality”
Client: Energy Jeans
“Nothing Beats Reality” was a rebelious campaign that structured the communication around “some of life’s big questions”, that teenagers start to ponder to help construct their identity. The world is full of unbelievable but true stories. These stories were recreated in a stylish cool way, and could be further experienced and shared online with real photos, real police reports and newspaper articles etc. Pierre Winther created this campaign for Energie jeans.
CASE STUDY #1: KARMA
A car mechanic, was hired to fix the brakes of a car. But without finishing the job, he leaves work to meet his brother for drinks and doesn’t return. Later that afternoon, Tu Whatanavi and his gang come by to pick up the car. Afterwards, they take a shortcut through the forest, where they run into the drunk mechanic. The breaks don’t work. Jake was seriously injured in the accident.
CASE STUDY #4: LIFE AFTER DEATH
Leon Huygen was born blind. On July 11th, 1994, he was the victim of a burglary in his own house, where he was shot in the head. He was pronounced dead by the first police officer to arrive at the scene, but the paramedics were able to resuscitate him. Later, officer N.J. Engelwood and his fellow officer A. Liebermann reported that they had seen Mr. Huygen float upwards and hover above his body for a while before disappearing through the ceiling. Talking to the police himself, Mr. Huygens could describe in every detail what had happened in that room. He knew the exact number of people that had been there, knew exactly what they looked like, and even knew what clothes they were wearing, even though he was blind.
CASE STUDY #2: INTUITION
Iceland – a late October night in 1989. Sven Rifkinsson was on his way back home from work. For some reason, he had an unusual urge to call his girlfriend Chaise. He stopped at a gas station at 9:20 pm. Unfortunately, there was no telephone available. As he passed a phone on the roadside at 9:25 pm, he stopped for a second time, but the phone was out of order. Desperate, Sven ran across the street to borrow a family’s telephone. Finally, at 9:30 pm, he made his call. At that exact moment, a drunk 23-year-old driver lost control of his car and crashed into Sven and Chaise’s house, ending his ride in the bedroom where Chaise and her little son had been only seconds before. The driver was killed instantly in the collision, but Chaise and her 2-year-old son were saved by Sven’s phone call.
CASE STUDY #3: COINCIDENCE
On February 5th, 1797, a ship carrying 121 passengers sank off the Irish coast. Only 61 passengers were saved, including a man named Hugh Williams. On February 5th, 1898, a ship carrying 98 passengers sank. Only one person was rescued, and his name was also Hugh Williams. On February 5th, 1997, a ship with 24 passengers sank, and only one person survived. His name? Hugh Williams.
“Don´t imitate – innovate“
Client: Hugo Boss Fragrance / Procter & Gamble
The “Don’t Imitate, Innovate” campaign was created in a collaboration with Pierre Winther and Grey advertising UK.
Pierre Winther created the visual world for the “Don’t Imitate, Innovate” campaign and gave It the look and feel wich made it world famous.
Sales following Hugo’s debut assured Eurocos that the message hit the right ears. Two months following the launch in Germany, Hugo was the second best-selling brand with a market share of 4.8%, according to GfK Trade Panel Institute of Germany. In the U.K., sales volume exceeded the first year’s plan in six months and drove sales of the entire Hugo Boss fragrance stable. In Holland sales of Hugo Boss fragrances almost doubled compared to year before figures, while in Belgium brand sales more than doubled.
“Tested on animals”
A boom blaster for an extreme lifestyle, a burning person on the street in the middle of the day – many people seek the ultimate experience in life, thus testing their own boundaries and the boundaries of the world. The images show shocking and eye-opening scenarios that catch the viewers’ attention and leave it to them to create an appropriate ending. Fatal consequences only exist in the viewers’ mind. Pierre Winther developed and realized the campaign ‘Trust’ for JVC.
“Pierre Winther @ Dunhill”
Client: Alfred Dunhill/ Richmond Group
In 2002 Alfred Dunhill, the luxury men´s wear and accessories brand owned by Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA headed for a relaunch. “We are going back to our roots,” Dunhill´s chief executive Guy Leymarie had told in an interview. “We are being loyal to the brand identity and the foundation of the brand, but the spirit will be in the mood of the times.” This was done in a collaboration with Photographer / artist Pierre Winther who created the 2 first campaigns in the new Relaunch “Pierre Winther@Dunhill”. The artist developed a look which exactly corresponded to the reframing of the brand and within that look, he redefined the gentleman’s style as much more than a stylish garment. A strong attitude and edgy character were demanded to complete the picture. This massive campaign consisting of images and film was introduced to the audience at the grand opening of Dunhill´s new 3,500-square-foot flagship store on Old Bond Street in London in 2003. All the models/ actors were flown in from Los Angeles to this event and to reaper in the same style as on the campaign images and the Dunhill-film also directed by Pierre Winther. After the opening reception on Bond, all the quest was taken by luxury cars of their choice to the after party, where a A-list of celebrities were invited, such as Madonna and Guy Richie, Jude Law, Jade Jagger, Boris Becker and many many more – all to entertained by the Cuba based band ” Buena Vista Social Club” who played live for the guest all night long. In Tokyo, 2003 the film was projected on a giant outdoor screen overlooking Tokyo’s Ginza Crossing to coincide with the opening of Dunhill’s flagship store in Japan. Pierre WInther was the creative director and photographer / director of the campaign (Film and Stills).
Campaign 1/ Pierre Winther@Dunhill: “Holiday on Earth”
Dunhill, the legendary British menswear company, gave Pierre Winther creative and artistic freedom when it came time to re-launch the brand. The resulting campaign takes place in a surreal world unburdened by typical advertising codes. No pouting models, no macho posturing – just a group of real men, cast for the campaign by Winther himself. As these men enjoy their “Holiday on Earth”, the viewer is invited to join the fun, which balances on a thin line between reality and fantasy.
“The Under Water Project”
For LEVI´S Jeans Pierre Winther came up with the concept of an underwater environment existing parallel to the everyday street-life. The provocative vision of a stuntman riding a 17 feet tiger shark got extended to a huge campaign shoot at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The pictures present a combination of visual elegance, danger and people living on the edge. Five years later Levi´s was still fascinated by the Under Water theme. The TV spot “Underwater Love” created a few years later by BBH London with the same-named famous song by Smoke City is based on the “Under Water Project”. Untill today, the key visual of the shark ride is exhibited and traded on the worldwide art market.
“Life Less Ordinary”
FINLANDIA VODKA AND WIEDEN+KENNEDY LAUNCH NEW GLOBAL CREATIVE CAMPAIGN ‘TO THE LIFE LESS ORDINARY’
Louisville, Ky (April 2013) Finlandia Vodka has partnered with Wieden+Kennedy London to create a new global creative campaign. To develop a real departure in look, feel and focus from previous Finlandia campaigns, the campaign capitalizes on the photographic genius of Pierre Winther. Known for his unique and influential work in numerous fashion campaigns, including Diesel, Levi’s and Hugo Boss, Winther ’s shots have an inherent cinematic and slightly twisted quality, which help shape the alternative, premium brand look. He played an intrinsic role in crafting the brand world as well as shooting the images/ directing a film.
Maurice Green, running on a train, and Dirk Nowitzki, hanging from a chopper in the air. Nothing is added to or omitted from these pictures, which epitomise danger, speed and real live action on a whole new level. Wieden+Kennedy and Pierre Winther developed the concept of movement, risk and energy as the actual premise of the project “the Heist”, that was realized for Nike. Danger, speed and real live action directed on the spot by Pierre Winther, starring two top sportsmen from Nike’s payroll; Maurice Green, one of the ‘World’s Fastest Humans’, running on top of the train and Dirk Kolowski, one of the best basketball players in the world, hanging from a chopper in the air. Nothing added, nothing omitted. The concepts of movement, danger, and energy, are the actual premises of Winther’s method and central to the way he works, together with his stance against digital manipulation. The campaign was shot in L.A.