Italian superbrand Stone Island have teamed up with filmmaker Nick Griffiths, one half of the creative agency &Son together with stylist Simon Foxton, to create a short film, 'Title', of which you can here see a 1 minute long clip. The brand, famed for its love of high-tech fabrics, and Griffiths decided to produce a clip centred around young boxer Dudley O'Shaughnessy, who also happened to feature in Rihanna's 'We Found Love' video. The trio (Stone Island, Dudley and Nick - not Rihanna!) set out to capture the young Eastender's fight to join the British boxing team for the 2012 Olympics. The moving portrait looks closer at Dudley, a Stone Island model as it happens, and his background... and how his hopes of joining the official squad pan out...
Dazed Digital: Dudley is a Stone Island model, but were there other reasons for choosing him?
Nick Griffiths: I was working with Dudley on a Stone Island campaign and he told me the story of how he got into boxing and his dedication to his Olympic dream. It stayed with me overnight and by the morning I knew I wanted to make a portrayal of his story. I told Dudley the idea of making a filmed portrait of him the next day, he spoke with his parents and they agreed to it.
As a father with three kids growing up in Hackney you kind of get bored with all the negative stories surrounding the kids around here. Dudley's quest encapsulates all of the positive characteristics needed to build a good life for yourself, he has fantastic parents whom he is a credit to.
DD: How does the boxing fit in with Stone Island as a clothing brand?
Nick Griffiths: It’s more about Dudley focusing on what he is good at in order to excel. There are parallels you can draw between the pursuance of excellence, dedication to be the best at what you do and the swagger of artistry built on technique and form.
DD: What's your own relationship with the brand?
Nick Griffiths: Simon Foxton and I have a creative practice called & SON, we very proudly work with Stone Island and have done for four enjoyable years. It is a special brand that is unique in the world of menswear, acclaimed for its design and consistently innovative fabric research. It is unparalleled and I think most men have a soft spot for it.
DD: It's filmed over a time period with a break in between - why?
Nick Griffiths: I felt it was important to give Dudley's story some space to play itself out. We start with Dudley pursuing his boyhood dream and end with Dudley as a man. I wanted the portrayal to show the reality of a dream and how external forces shape that dream.
DD: When will Dudley find out if he's made the Olympic team?
Nick Griffiths: You’ll have to see the film!
DD: What's next for you?
Nick Griffiths: Well, next up I have been commissioned by Phil South of Golf Channel Recordings to create a film piece for the artist DJ Nature to coincide with the launch of his forthcoming album. DJ nature is Milo Johnson, one of the founders of Bristol's Wild Bunch and a true hero of mine, so I am very excited to be doing it.