James Franco’s mission for his latest Seven For All Mankind campaign was to meld old Hollywood and new. “The whole aesthetic approach of the campaign is based on the eternal hipness of the clothes,” Franco says. “We can do a meditation on old and new Hollywood at the same time because of the way the clothes fit into all eras.”
Old Hollywood is well represented by classic landmarks, including Hollywood Cemetary, Sunset Boulevard, and Mark Mahoney’s famous Shamrock tattoo parlor. New is represented by the diverse cast, including Lily Donaldson, Lou Doillon, Cody Horn, and Henry Hopper (a very direct connector of old Hollywood and new: he’s the son of the late Dennis Hopper). The roster is international (Doillon is French, Donaldson English) but Europeans have always found a happy home in Hollywood—just as the campaign’s inspiration, Rudolph Valentino, did. “He was the great sex symbol of the silent film era, so much so that some journalists wrote pieces about the general decline of masculinity and blamed Valentino’s suave effeminacy as the main cause,” Franco tells Style.com. “But now, almost a hundred years later, we can champion the ambiguity of Valentino.” The campaign debuts exclusively on Style.com, as do a few behind-the-scenes shots. Look out for the accompanying Web video series shot by Franco on the brand’s YouTube channel July 26.