You may think of Josh Brolin as a bumbling president in W., a cowboy on the run in No Country For Old Men, or as a young Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black III. But now, he’s the face of a fashion brand.
The actor appears in Band of Outsiders’ fall campaign, which was photographed by its designer, Scott Sternberg, at the Sunset Ranch Hollywood in Beachwood Canyon, Calif. Relative to fashion houses that take months to engineer elaborate spreads, retouch and reshoot, everything about Band’s new campaign seems, well, easy. The shoot took place on Monday, with Sternberg behind the lens of a Polaroid camera. It was done by Wednesday.
“I wanted this idea of an authentic, modern cowboy—that sort of masculine archetype and ideal,” Sternberg said when reached by phone on Wednesday.
The designer, whose brand has become a cult favorite, says that he doesn’t choose “celebrities in the strategic sense of the word.” Instead, he finds people who he sees as iconoclasts—with varied résumés, and a slightly darker and more complicated relationship with their own fame. Last season, he photographed the artist Ed Ruscha (whom he had been “chasing for two years”) and before that it was Michelle Williams, Sarah Silverman, Andrew Garfield, and several others.
Often, the results are funny and irreverent—more evocative of a mood than celebratory of each piece from the collection. Brolin poses in a barn in an elegant tuxedo, a fur-trimmed coat draped over his shoulders: a tough guy all cleaned up. He lights a cigarette, then he lights three. “This is a fashion campaign about fashion campaigns,” Sternberg says. “But they’re not necessarily poking fun.”
By now, Band of Outsiders has become known for these Polaroid campaigns, with their retro veneer and warm Californian light. But, Sternberg says, there are only two more left –- because he’s almost entirely through the film, which is now out of production. Next, he will produce a book with all of his Polaroid photos. “It’s time to close the chapter on the Polaroids,” he says. “It’s time to evolve.”