Bruce Weber's latest campaign for Shinola—the Detroit-based maker of watches, bikes, and leather goods—shows just how much more interested this photographer is in telling stories about people than he is in hawking product.
Weber, who is no stranger to shooting films, created a dozen shorts for the company, the first few of which made their debuts on Vogue and Vanity Fair's websites. In the clip below, Weber captured a local soul legend named Melvin Davis singing "I Want a Love I Can See."
Other videos feature a young girl named Asia, who aspires to be the nation's first rapping president, and a poet named Natasha who crowns Detroit "the city that continues to call the world's bluff."
Showcasing the brand's wares is secondary to telling those stories—though Weber said he supports the brand "because it's one of those rare situations that the things they make and believe in are very beautifully done."
"He has always created a beautiful circus," said model Carolyn Murphy, whom Weber photographed posing with Detroit locals for Shinola's still image campaign. "He is passionate, and he wants to work with people who are passionate."
Shinola's creative director Daniel Caudill is working with Murphy, who's now the company's design director, on refining its selection of bags. Soon they want to start making denim, and Murphy was particularly excited about a line of canvas-and-leather dog beds that the brand is going to start making.
"It sounds really silly, but one day we'd love to make a toaster," Caudill said. "You don't want to put the name on everything, but there are certain things that just make sense."
Caudill wants the brand to grow so that it will keep creating more jobs for the people of Detroit. He cites the workers in Shinola's factory as his inspiration.
Whether they're employees of the company or not, Weber—who famously shot a W Magazine editorial with Kate Moss in Detroit in 2006—said everyone in the city is "just so life-affirming, in so many ways."
—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.
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