Axel Swan Maldini, a 23-year old model from the U.K., brought his world-class modeling talents to a campaign for the highly prestigious Italian handbag company, Catherinelle.
The campaigned was photographed by esteemed photographer Settimio Benedusi, a fashion photographer most known for his work with various companies including Versace, Persol, Ferrari Spumante, Yamamay, Seventy, and Fisco, among others. Benedusi’s work as been featured in publications and magazines such as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Maxim Magazine, Sportsweek, Image Magazine and Digital Photographer, among others.
“The goal of the shoot was to capture multiple generations of a family using rustic, sepia tones influenced by an Eastern European aesthetic,” Benedusi said of the project. “Mr. Maldini’s look is a distinctly striking one.”
Benedusi described Maldini’s gaze in the photographs as vacant, and, “Paired with illustrated arms and [an] ominous stature,” ultimately making him the, “ideal model for this shoot.”
The campaign was shot in Milano. Regarding the location and feel of the project, Maldini explained, “The background had to resemble vintage family portraits of a gypsy family. The idea was sort of family portraits, so the poses were as traditional as possible.”
While the poses of every shoot differ from one another, Maldini said, “When it comes to shooting, I’ve always really tried for the mood of the shoot: the message it has to deliver, as well as the creative process that happens on the other side of the lens.”
For the Catherinelle campaign, Maldini said, “The poses were really natural, and they had to resemble the typical family portraits of the past. There was no particular facial expression, if not the one of a formal family portrait. The shooting was still very spontaneous, even though the team had to go through the mood-board to ensure the outcome was as desired by the designer. The main challenge was to pose without making the picture look too posey.”
Clothes featured in the shoot were from high-end designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Versace. Incorporated into each distinct look were Catherinelle bags.
“The reverence of the shoot is reinforced through the contrast of the models,” Benedusi commented. “Without Mr. Maldini in the campaign, I’m not sure that we would have celebrated the success we have had.”
Maldini has contributed his modeling talents through leading roles for Kon Streetwear, Papercut Magazine, Lui Magazine, Fucking Young! Online’s editorial “Lucha Libre,” the Zeynep Guntas Look Book, Urban Tribe, and Cult Shoes.
“My approach to each job has been very spontaneous, and I’ve always been glad to collaborate with creative people, which is definitely one of the main motivations,” he said. Maldini, a well-rounded model who has reached the peak of the industry, mastered the art of runway modeling and has made appearances through Barcelona Fashion Week and shows by Krizia Robustella.
“In the last twenty-five years,” Benedusi said, “I have worked with every type of creative in the industry. It is with this time as a photographer that I have noted what it takes to succeed in this highly competitive field. Mr. Maldini is an asset to the American and International fashion industry. He is a considerable force within the modeling world, and his continued presence on the runway and in front of the camera will only bolster his standing as a highly demanded model.”