With The Vampire’s Wife, her romantic-retro brand the ex-top model of the 90s has gone from being a muse to a well-respected fashion designer. For Gucci and Alessandro Michele, she becomes a muse again, taking part in the campaign for the latest olfactory opus in the Gucci Bloom saga.
Born to a diplomatic father, she spent part of her childhood in Malawi and Nigeria, before being noticed at the age of 14 by Steven Meisel on a flight to New York. She began modeling a year later. In the 90’s, her physique of gothic Venus with green eyes makes her a sought-after but discreet top. Although she stopped modeling in 1997, she still poses undressed on the cover of Push the Sky Away, her husband Nick Cave’s fifteenth album (in 2013).
In 2014, Susie starts creating models for her brand, The Vampire’s Wife. She imagines T-shirts adorned with strange girls or mermaid dresses with outdated glamour in velvet, satin or Liberty fabrics, reminiscent of another era. Her brand is now worn by inspirational trendsetters such as Florence Welch (another Gucci muse), Alexa Chung, Cate Blanchett, just to name a few.
“I’m quite a shy person, and Nick, my husband, is in the public eye. When I go out with him, I can have a lot of social anxiety, and I never really knew what to wear. So, I started designing dresses that gave me confidence. Even when I was a model, I was mostly interested in clothes. Seeing people create their own world thanks to clothes is something that fascinates me. Sometimes you can see a girl walking down the street, full of life and wearing an outfit she has customized herself, which is essentially and uniquely her and no one else. For me, this is the definition of style. Freeing oneself through imagination” explains Susie over the phone with her soothing voice.
“…THIS IS THE DEFINITION OF STYLE. FREEING ONESELF THROUGH IMAGINATION”
For 2020, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele has reimagined the label’s keynote scent Gucci Bloom and as a part of the campaign released last September, Florence Welch, Anjelica Huston, Jodie Turner-Smith and Susie Cave take centre stage in a cottagecore-goes-nocturnal spooky garden.
“I have known Alessandro for a long time now, and he is simply one of the most generous and lovely people I have ever met. Beyond this, he is obviously one of the most gifted designers of his generation, and it was an honor to be asked to be a part of his campaign. I was able to let myself go – which I sometimes find difficult to do, but I felt completely confident with him” says Cave.
The campaign was shot at La Scarzuola, a mystical landmark in the Umbrian countryside of Italy. Directed by award-winning photographer and director Floria Sigismondi, the film opens with Florence Welch exploring the abandoned theaters. With some scenes taking inspiration from the popular French musical film ‘Peau d’Âne,’ directed by Jacques Demy, the fantasy sequence intensifies with frenetic energy as the film comes to its crescendo with a floral explosion. Bursts of petals and flowers fall from the sky and shower the four protagonists.
“It was extraordinary to be able to see Alessandro at work, to be at the forefront of his creative process. He is a true perfectionist, and I learned a lot from him. The atmosphere of the campaign is also very close to my personal style. As being on set, it was a real pleasure to spend time with these inspiring women. It was such a dynamic combination of people and such a magical setting” she describes.
Encapsulated in a honey yellow toned bottle, the new fragrance heroes Tuberose blended with Jasmine Sambac Closed Buds and Jasmine Sambac Absolute. The accord is enriched by Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood and Sun Drenched Woody notes. Driving an elegant and distinctive trail, the Orris Concrete is blended with the resinous warmth of the Benzoin and softened with a sensual cloud of Musky notes.
Feeling like turning yourself into your own mystical muse? You can purchase Gucci Bloom here: