Fashion Icon Edward Enninful & Supermodel Naomi Campbell Talk Beats By Dre Short Film 'Seven Deadly Sins'

Courtesy of Beats By Dre
Naomi Campbell in a short film for Beats by Dre. 

Visionary Edward Enninful is celebrating his 25th anniversary of working in the fashion industry in collaboration with Beats By Dre and SHOWstudio’s Nick Knight for a daring new visual called The Seven Deadly Sins of Edward Enninful that merges the past, present and future.

The 13-minute avant-garde visual — or an “assault of the senses through technology” as Enninful puts it — showcases the sins (Pride, Gluttony, Lust, Sloth, Envy, Wrath, Greed) represented by a different model, pulling from a VIP roster that includes Karlie Kloss, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Jourdan Dunn, among others. Each sin is also depicted in a vibrant color scheme with bold and striking images that intertwine familiar tech notes, like a skull emoji or troll-y online comments. The soundtrack also heightens the experience with a vibrant mix of rhythmic pop tunes, sensual R&B and hard-hitting hip-hop a la artists including A$AP Ferg, Hopsin, Jamie XX and The Internet

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“When i met with Beats By Dre, they wanted to do something based on sound, color, and emotion so that was one level,” Enninful, the creative and fashion director of W magazine, tells Billboard in the lavish Presidential Suite at the Surrey Hotel on a Tuesday evening (June 7) alongside runway queen and his longtime BFF Naomi Campbell. “Then on the other hand we wanted to take from the past and create something for now for the future so I like the idea that the [“7 Deadly Sins”] is almost biblical, but sort of applied through today’s world of technology. We all love the Internet but the 7 Deadly Sins are really rife in there -- from selfies to people trolling each other.”

For Campbell, technology isn’t necessarily an evil but a platform that enhances her work. “I started without technology so for me, it’s just an outlet to share your work with more people, an outlet to celebrate and let the people I admire know I admire them and to find people I may have lost.” The iconic supermodel also had no qualms about playing “Pride.” “I loved it because I trust Edward. I trust Nick Knight. I would do anything he asked me to do.”

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Rapper Travis Scott, known to be a sartorial rebel himself, also narrates the film, which Edward called “icing on the cake.” He adds, “For me, Travis represents the now, he represents his generation and he represents the future so it just felt really natural.” 

Campbell, who has often served as a musical muse (like recently appearing in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 fashion show and listening event at New York’s Madison Square Garden in February), also boasts a stacked resume of music video features. She zips through the A-listers whose work impacted her career: “Michael Jackson obviously, George Michael “Freedom,” and it’s hard [to just name a few] because I also did videos for Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Duran Duran, Boy George, Bob Marley, when I was 7 years old. For “Change Clothes” with Pharrell and Jay Z, I got to produce that video, too. Biggie’s “Nasty Girl.” They all mean something to me.”

She even beams over her latest Apple Music ad, where she gives DJ Khaled a smooch. “I loved working with DJ Khaled. It was so much fun. He was lovely, a really nice guy to work with,” she said, also praising Apple Music's head of content Larry Jackson and head of the streaming service Jimmy Iovine. 

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As friends for more than two decades, Enninful and Campbell also share the same co-signs when it comes to saluting the trendsetters among music’s finest. They both rattle off names particularly in the hip-hop sphere from the aforementioned Scott, Future and Kanye West to rock stars like Lenny Kravitz and the late great Prince. “The clothes don’t wear them,” she said. “They wear the clothes. While Campbell throws in Lady Gaga and Mary J Blige, she gushes over her “little sister” Rihanna. “She’s got balls, takes risks and experiments. That’s all it’s about.” 

Enninful also points out that music and fashion are experiencing a sort of a Renaissance at the moment, where it isn’t mandatory to stay in a particular lane. “I feel like it’s an exciting time. Kanye’s designing clothes and making music. Rihanna’s doing Puma. Anything goes,” he said. “The unexpected is happening.”

Watch The Seven Deadly Sins of Edward Enninful here.


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