In September 2015, Owen & Fred shot its new Flight Brief and brand campaign at JFK’s TWA Flight Center. This is the behind the scenes moments and explains our thinking behind shooting at TWA.
We chose this iconic New York building because it is incredibly gorgeous, eerily empty and ready for the taking (of photos). Even though quite renown, it remains almost unknown other than by plane and design aficionados. This beautiful white-winged creature seems to have disappeared, now that Terminal 5, JetBlue’s flagship terminal, encircles it. You’ll catch a glimpse of it as you’re riding by on the Air Train, should you bother to look up from your Instagram feed.
The TWA Flight Center is what we think of when it comes to the golden age of mid-century modern design, experimentalism and just plain hutzpah. Buildings like this rarely get past the accountants these days. A product of the creativity of Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, it was first sketched in the mid-1950s, and commissioned by TWA in 1957. Unlike most airline buildings around the world, this one was owned by the airline itself. Completed in 1962, Saarinen told The New York Times that the building was meant to represent the spirit of flight. We think it does just that. The building itself feels like it could be built tomorrow at JFK and speaks not only to the future of flight but avant-garde design. The curvature of the building, the stark off-white that contrasts with the asphalt out front and sky blue above, as well as huge glass panels emit a warm greenish hue and reflect the light so well. Combining this veritable design museum with our new, minimalist Flight Brief seemed like a perfect match.
The shoot was completed in the morning on a beautiful September day. The weather was perfect, with very few clouds in the sky. A crisp fall day that is one of New York’s best assets. We shot it early enough in the morning for the sun to cast a slight shadow, and did have to adjust for the movement of the sun cutting across this iconic building. And as with most mid-September days in New York, it was still quite hot, requiring our model to cool down from time to time. We put him to work - he must have run a good half-mile over endless shots and reshoots capturing the movement we wanted.
The model was outfitted in a suit courtesy of our friends at J.Crew. You’ll recognize their perfect Ludlow suit in charcoal with a crisp Ludlow dress shirt and a matte navy tie from Ralph Lauren. We think that he looks particularly James Bond.
Our main hero shot captures the spirit of travel, like the building itself. We love the idea that Owen & Fred goods are designed for the good-looking, gentleman traveler in all of us. We’d rather be jetting off somewhere, even if it were for work travel. Get out of the office, get away from the city, and go on an adventure. In this case, here’s our man confidently off to the terminal to catch a flight. His bag is his constant companion and keeps all of his items nicely organized. He’ll make the flight with minutes to spare. Where is he off?
Our photoshoot was crafted with the trusted hands at Black & Gold Studio, guided by Harry James Hanson and shot by Sam Evans Butler.