Raw Spirit – My Exploration of Art and a Socially Conscious Endeavor

What an incredible week it's been. Not only because we saw the official relent of Winter and onset of Spring here in New York, but a very special milestone was reached after a long collaboration and a lot of hard work from many amazing people. For me, it was the realization a long held socially conscious dream - the birth of ‘Raw Spirit Fragrances’.

For those who know my back story, there has been little that is conventional about the path I’ve followed, and I’ve always felt really humbled and grateful to an industry that has given me so many opportunities. So you can possibly imagine what an honor it was for me when the fashion industry’s leading fashion and beauty journal, Women’s Wear Daily, broke the news of Raw Spirit’s first ever advertising print and video campaign, that features the stunning Behati Prinsloo.

Raw Spirit is the culmination of a very special journey for me, both personally and professionally. From a professional standpoint, Behati and I have worked together on many projects over the last few years the years. Recently, we collaborated on a unique culturally inspired art project called Seminole Spirit.  The collaboration resulted in a highly acclaimed fine-art collection and gallery film which is now touring Europe, thanks to Camera Work and Nomad Two Worlds Gallery. Shooting in Seminole country was breathtaking enough, but watching Behati transform into a living metaphor for the strength, vision, beauty and cultural relevance I had witnessed from spending two years getting to know the Seminole Tribe really took things to the next level. 

So when Raw Spirit Fragrances started the search for an authentic ambassador, who not only looked the part but also felt the same connection, Behati was the perfect choice to represent the sustainably sourced fine fragrance line. After we’d worked together on Semonole Spirit last year, I knew Behati really embodied the name “Raw Spirit” and the brand mantra #unlocktherawspirit. ‘Bee’ is passionate about everything she does, and acts with great integrity and heart. When I approached Behati about Raw Spirit and its give back program, I think I know how nervous Adam Levine must have been when he proposed! She said yes thankfully, as I just couldn’t imagine anyone else for this.

We agreed to fly back to Seminole country to shoot the campaign, and be as close to mother nature as the brand name suggests. After pulling together a creative dream team including famed hair stylist Italo Gregorio and makeup artist Fulvia Farolfi, our collective imaginations ran wild. The resulting Raw Spirit campaign images and video really explore the spirit, energy and connection to nature we feel on those sacred lands, and the genuine ethos behind the Raw Spirit, which promotes sustainability, respect for culture and the environment, and the importance of giving back to the communities it works with.  

My goal for Raw Spirit is to demonstrate the exciting creative possibilities that arise from authentic collaborations with Indigenous and marginalized communities around the world. When ancient and modern cultures work in harmony together, I truly believe we take real steps towards reconciling our differences and finding common threads that connect us all. #unlocktherawspirit