Trussardi's greyhound is the star of the Italian house's new campaign, photographed by William Wegman. Throughout his 50+ year career, the American photographer has captured his own Weimeraners in various guises. Posing on an armchair, wearing a glass bowl as a hat, wrapped in red Colourama. Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Trussardi greyhound logo, created by Nicola Trussardi in 1973, he has turned his camera to creating the brand's new campaign, which features a group of handsome greyhounds wearing iconic pieces from the new collection including a sky blue leather blazer and fawn leather rucksack.
There's no underestimating the appeal of animals in modern times, especially online. Cats normally steal the limelight (Cat Breading, Grumpy Cat et al) yet in recent times the dog has begun to catch up. Last year, AnOther pinpointed a handful of dog-themed media from instagram account Dogs on Tables and mesmerising film Dogs Having a Shake to the book documenting loveable coonhound "Maddie on Things" and the hilarious tumblr Menswear Dog. What is most interesting about the new Trussardi campaign is that it reaffirms Wegman as the forerunner of the trend.
American-born Wegman reportedly originally intended to pursue a career as a painter. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Massachusetts College of Art in 1965 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1967. While teaching at California State University, Wegman acquired the first and most famous of the dogs he photographed, a Weimaraner he named Man Ray (after the artist and photographer). Man Ray later became so popular that the Village Voice named him "Man of the Year" in 1982. Wegman named a subsequent dog Fay Ray (a play on the name of actress Fay Wray). In 1992, Wegman appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and showed a video clip of Dog Duet, a short which he made in 1975 featuring Man Ray and another dog slowly and mysteriously peering around. Proof that brilliant things don't have to be complicated. Wegman explained that he had created the video by moving a tennis ball around, off-camera, thus capturing the dogs' attention. The same year, he did 3 network ID's for Nickelodeon starring the dogs on pedestals.
This is the first time in his career that Wegman has photographed greyhounds. "They are mysteriously calm, wonderfully photogenic and most of all incredibly elegant," he says of his subjects. The greyhound is a European breed of dog that was historically bred for coursing game and racing. It is a gentle and intelligent breed whose combination of long, powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine and slim build allows it to reach average race speeds in excess of 18 metres per second. The only other mammal that can accelerate faster over a short distance is the cheetah.
Text by Laura Bradley