The late Slim Aarons was known as a photographer of the very rich and very white. The mid-century shutterbug became synonymous with pictures of the high society wealthy in extravagant settings of opulence including poolside mansion parties, ski resorts and more.
Now, Jay-Z is turning those portraits on their heads in a new ad campaign for his cannabis line Monogram.
Shot by Hype Williams at the famed Frank Sinatra House in Palm Springs, the campaign features new takes on Aarons’ most well-known photographs, “Keep Your Cool,” “Desert House Party,” “Poolside Glamour” and “Leisure and Fashion.” Styled by Highsnobiety fashion director Corey T. Stokes, the first of three photo installments feature best new Grammy nominee Chika, New York-based culinary expert and activist Ghetto Gastro, rapper and songwriter Curren$y, designer and stylist Aleali May and model Slick Woods.
Th next two installments of the campaign will be released at later dates to help mark the release “Slim Aarons: Style,” a new monograph to be published Sept. 21 by Abrams.
“Slim Aarons defined a lifestyle and an era, and this campaign is proof that his imagery, style and taste still resonate,” Shawn Waldron, Getty Images curator and author of “Slim Aarons: Style,” said in a statement. Waldron collaborated with Monogram on the campaign. “Hype Williams creatively pays homage to Slim’s incredible talent while updating the setting and personalities in a truly inspired way,” he said.
Coincidentally, the photos were released on New York City billboards soon after the Empire State legalized marijuana. “On the heels of legalization, seeing creative like this become a natural part of the fabric of New York City only reinforces that cannabis has a right to exist within our customs, arts and social institutions,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “New York’s decision to legalize is a victory for the entire industry, and I’m excited to have Monogram play a role in bringing that message to life in my own backyard.”