The Tiniest Sunglasses worn by the Biggest Stars. 'Calling' by Gramafilm.
The latest in a series of campaigns from London-based production company Gramafilm, ‘Calling’ celebrates the woman behind CHRISTIANAHJONES, Tianah Hodding, and her iconic shades worn by Beyonce, Billie Eilish & Millie Bobby Brown. Explore the creative process behind this branded sunglasses campaign below.
Written by Siannarah Millanaise.
When Malachi Hamilton, Creative at Gramafilm was presented with the option to conceptualise a fresh branded project for Gramafilm Magazine, he seized the opportunity. Having already dreamt up a narrative he wanted to execute for a brand he’d been interacting with for a few years, it felt like the ‘right time to move on the idea’.
Gramafilm typically circles the space of storytelling through documentary, driving brand engagement by bringing their authentic human stories to life. This was a chance for Malachi to push the boundaries even further. To experiment and develop a narrative in a format that was entirely original but still authentic to the chosen brand and the notion of meaningful storytelling.
I knew this project would allow us to showcase that we are well-equipped to take on different project styles and execute them to a high standard.
Malachi Hamilton – Creative
Showcasing independent creatives
Gramafilm Magazine seeks to support independent creatives by developing fully funded films for them on a pro-bono basis which they can use to showcase who they are and what they stand for. Having found Tianah Hodding and her brand CHRISTIANAHJONES a few years prior through a friend and appreciating the warm and welcoming vibe that was exuded time and time again through the product, press events and in person, Malachi was keen to create something special that would showcase this brand’s vision and further unlock its potential.
Inspired by a love for antique eyewear in her youth, Tianah launched CHRISTIANAHJONES in 2017. From selling vintage shades on DEPOP to debuting her uniquely designed and manufactured line at Afropunk London, CHRISTIANAHJONES has since gone on to be worn by the likes of Beyoncé, Lizzo and Billie Eilish. But despite the highs that this distinctive and vibrant brand has experienced in just a few years, the pandemic period and a long maternity leave forced Tianah to take a break from the industry. So when Gramafilm approached her to have this project developed spotlighting CHRISTIANAHJONES, the timing felt right and the ideas in motion even better.
Conceptualising fashion films
In embarking on the creative process, the theme of Departed Ego was a concept Malachi was keen to explore. Centering around the idea that we have lost our true selves in being locked into a one-size-fits-all lens constructed by society. By unlocking the power of thought and challenging our perspectives, we are gifted the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and choose a new lens that emancipates our vision; realising endless possibilities and contradicting the idea of seeing through rose-tinted glasses.
Creating a lookbook-style campaign
Working alongside Gramafilm Director, Jack Bailey, the pair fleshed out this idea with a key influence for Malachi being Bruce Davidson’s 1980s photo series “Subway”. Together they concluded that the piece should be set around the London underground; a place that houses ‘the anxieties of modern life and corporate identity’ but that also provides a clear cross-section of society.
In this one space, people of different races, religions, classes, ages, sexes, cultures, and gender identities are together in a moment in time.
Malachi Hamilton – Creative
The idea of a lookbook-style fashion film was synonymously felt between them and became the mode of storytelling, challenging Gramafilm’s own lens and usual frame of reference.
We could quite easily make a very cool lookbook but the important thing for me as well was to add a level of story to give us more depth - allowing us to explore a bit more especially from a creative standpoint.
Jack Bailey – Director
Led in development by Producer, Kate Woodland, and then produced by Luba Shramko, the project was juggled but never dropped to get it over the finishing line.
Everyday we should all be braver and keep on creating something fresh, crazy and beautiful
Luba Shramko – Producer
This belief in the project extended beyond the four walls of Gramafilm. From cast to crew, the energy, support and collaboration on this project really made it the success it was. From the set designers who went above and beyond to harness the detail of the art direction, to the stylist who came with multiple looks and an entourage of suitcases, to the choreographer, models, composer and wider team who put their soul into the story, everyone pulled out all the stops to fulfil the vision and bring the project to life.
The team expressed confidence in seeing the project come to fruition on set and described a ‘magic aura’ that seemed to be a constant at the monitor. In thinking about how this experience left its mark on them and could enhance things at Gramafilm, Luba, Jack and Malachi each described the project as ‘different’, ‘experimental’ and ‘enchanting’ - all elements they continue to explore at Gramafilm.
“The project reminds me that you bring what you bring in a way that no one else can." - Malachi Hamilton, Creative at Gramafilm
The shoot was like being at the annual family bbq but cold. Everyone was like family but professionals and sooo good. Seeing the project shot was surreal.
Tianah Hodding – Founder, CHRISTIANAHJONES
The brand behind this sunglasses fashion film
CALLING speaks to the desire to be yourself; breaking free of societal constructs and stepping out of what you know, for the version you dare to be. CHRISTIANAHJONES is available online at .