Guy Bourdin Inspiration

Collage of Guy Bourdin images for Charles Jourdan shoe campaigns

Trying to sort my desktop in a need-to-clear-it kind of way, I came across notes from when we gave a talk at the Port Eliot festival a few years ago. One bit that jumped out was how we’d been inspired by 60s fashion mags, their covers and their ads. Bold. colourful and modern.

And those ads, showing women’s then new-found sense of freedom, became more than just a vehicle for selling, they became artworks.

Guy Bourdin was the man behind the lens of Charles Jourdan shoe campaigns from 1964, having been a Vogue Paris regular for almost a decade.

The actual shoes were shot in the unlikeliest of locations or multiplied in an image with contrasting and clashing accessories. Often, there were very few, if any, faces in the shots.

(We worked with photographer Lydia Whitmore and stylist Maya Angeli to capture our shoes in a similar way.)

Guy Bourdin Vogue Paris 85. Legs stepping over a tray
Guy Bourdin Spring 78, shoes at the bottom of a swimming pool
Guy Bourdin 77, woman on a ladder against a wall of shoe boxes
Guy Bourdin ad, legs as seen in Vogue Paris
Ops&Ops No16 Curly Wurly and No11 Crimson standing on a table of party food. Photo Lydia Whitmore
Ops&Ops No10 Turmeric, No10 Lipstick Red and No11 Nautical Navy. Photo Lydia Whitmore
Collection of past season's Ops&Ops. Photo Lydia Whitmore
Ops&Ops No15 Turquoise and No16 Silver-Duo. Photo Lydia Whitmore

Bourdin brought the shoes to life in the most entertaining and vivid way. Often surreal, his images could be magical bursts of colour or toned-down mono, but always with an ever-present intensity.

We’ve always strived to present Ops in a playful yet grown-up way, which is also how we see our footwear. (See pictures for another collab with Lydia and Maya). And from the off, Bourdin’s images have been a constant source of inspiration.

Guy Bourdin for Charles Jourdan 67. Women with legs wearing different coloured tights
Guy Bourdin ad for Charles Jordan 69
Guy Bourdin for Capobianco & Laure 56. shoe on a typewriter
Guy Bourdin 75. Kid playing hopscotch with shoes in front
Ops&Ops No10 Action White and Blue. on a pretend sports court with shuttlecocks Photo Lydia Whitmore
Ops&Ops No10 Lipstick Red, feet in the air. Photo Lydia Whitmore
Ops&Ops Past season's Bumper Car range.
Ops&Ops No11 Yellow Gold standing on a typewriter. Photo Lydia Whitmore

For summer-ready kicks highlighted here, check out