exclusive: grace neutral and hari nef go ‘blade runner’ in new campaign
Trailblazing trans actress/model Hari Nef and otherworldly tattoo artist Grace Neutral have already united on the pages of i-D -- both were shot by Alasdair McLellan for our 35th Birthday Issue -- but now, the two compelling creatives have come together again. Neutral, Nef, and genderqueer performance artist Dia Dear all star in a Blade Runner-inspired campaign for an exciting new collaboration between New York-based jewelry brand CHRISHABANA and Korean eyewear company Gentle Monster.
Habana -- whose pieces you might remember Zana Bayne's spring/summer 15 runway -- was motivated to cast the trifecta based on their boundary-breaking beauty. "After seeing Grace Neutral in the i-D article saying that she was the new ideal of beauty, she completely blew me away with all of her body modification work," Habana tells i-D of the inked out alien princess. "She's such a fearless spirit and I likened her to a pixie-turned-Maori tribal warrior. We enhanced her tattoos and transformed her into just that."
Nef was cast prior to her historic signing to IMG's women's talent board back in May. "I had seen Hari out at parties in New York before and was transfixed by her look. She felt like a younger Stella Tennant and I really admired her strong, angular beauty," Habana says. Nef might be serving 90s super vibes IRL, but her campaign look was inspired by Rachael, Ridley Scott's le smoking android in the iconic 82 film.
Habana was drawn to Dia Dear after working with the performance artist on past campaigns, and imagined her as "a mad cyborg scientist experimenting on herself." "She's such a chameleon, so I knew that I could create a really twisted concept around her and she would take it on," Habana says.
The campaign, shot by photographer Ssam Kim, features the collaboration's three architectural styles. In addition to being Habana's first ever eyewear collection, the release coincides with Gentle Monster's forthcoming New York store opening this coming fall. Check out Habana's sketches and behind the scenes shots below!
Text Emily Manning
Campaign Photography Ssam Kim
Creative Direction and Casting Chris Habana
Styling Lester Garcia
Makeup Yoshie Kubota
Hair Takeo Suzuki
Set Design David Davis
All images courtesy CHRISHABANA x Gentle Monster