A Model Father

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This is a story about family and moving to the Midwest from New York City… but mostly it’s a story about family. My name is Eric and I am a Creative Director here at Lands’ End. It was almost nine years ago when I moved from New York, the only home I had ever known, to Madison, Wisconsin to work for Lands’ End.

My wife and I were excited to embark on a new journey which, in addition to a new home and a new job for me, would include another change in our lives… parenthood. She was a few months pregnant at the time and because she didn’t want to stop working until she absolutely had to, I moved to Wisconsin ahead of her, while she remained at our home in Brooklyn.

Almost as soon as I arrived in Wisconsin, I was sent back to New York for my first assignment, a cover shoot for an upcoming catalog. Photo shoots are amazing experiences that introduce you to an eclectic group of creative and interesting people. On this particular shoot, I was introduced to a young German model by the name of Norbert. I had seen Norbert in pictures quite a bit from my days working at J.Crew, but I never had the opportunity to meet him in person. At the time Lands’ End was introducing a new fabric technology, which, among a host of other beneficial properties, was stain resistant. I thought Norbert would be the perfect “face” for these new products, but as it turned out we never used Norbert’s face on the cover.

Actually, my concept for the cover of a sweet child resting on daddy’s shoulder was  exactly what we printed, but on a photo shoot you never know  what will happen and if you will capture the image you imagined in your head. On this particular shoot, I credit capturing “the shot” to two things. First, we booked three babies to make sure we always had one on the ready who had a good temperament and a sweet disposition. And two, Norbert played his role of daddy quite naturally, despite not knowing (yet) the joys and frustrations of being a parent. Norbert was tender with the kids and made it easy for us to get a lot of great images.

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Fast forward to our current Holiday campaign, which is all about family. The concept behind our campaign was to highlight some of our models who, to many of us, are an extension of our Lands’ End family, and show them with their real families. One of the models we selected was Norbert, who recently had his first child, a boy, and while I didn’t art direct this shoot, when I saw the images of Norbert my mind immediately went back to our first meeting in New York City all those years ago. No doubt Norbert will make an amazing father and I wish him all the best. And as a side note, my wife and I now have two boys of our own, and Noah, who was not yet born all those years ago, is about to have his eighth birthday.

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