REDMILK MEETS HALIMA OLALEMI, THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER BEHIND THE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT @ADARCHIVES, THAT COLLECT VINTAGE MAGAZINE ADS
How did your interest in vintage advertising started?
It started through studying graphic design, my tutor was very much into collecting and finding patterns or meaning from the things he’d collect. I really love the aesthetic and design style of the ads I find they’re all so unexpected and bold I always feel like I’m looking into a period of time that doesn’t exist anymore.
Since your beginning up to today how did changed the advertising world?
Advertising moves and comments on with world events I think with striking visuals and concepts. Take Benetton for example Oliviero Toscani was criticised for using fashion to profit from these ideologies whereas I feel he used fashion as a platform to bring these issues to light. I don’t think we see that much anymore due to censorship issues as well as the growth of technology and social media.
Do you think that social networks brought us back to a “retro revival”?
I definitely do since I’ve started the Instagram page I’ve come across more ‘archive’ pages. I think this constant need to regurgitate the past has prompted this new aesthetic, it’s allowed the viewer you and I to consume and collect our own favourite Images. For example the blog ‘y2kinstitute’ on tumblr is one of my favourites because it focuses on a specific aesthetic at a point in time which is what I hope to do with Adarchives.
Creativity for Halima could be…
I find it funny that sometimes constraints in creativity can be a sense of freedom.
An advertisement that represent you:
I wouldn’t say any of the ads represent me as a person, I feel like I have this magical eye or need to find representation or a hidden message in advertising or some kind of narrative. These ads I could say have become sort of a visual library for me to express my interests as a designer as well as open a discussion with people who created them.
A campaign that you think will never go out of fashion …
I think the Diesel, Levi’s, Stussy and Benneton ads will never go out of fashion the thing these brands all have in common is that they have strong narratives when dealing with their brand and their audience. They keep your attention by drawing a wide range of audiences in as well as creating a lifestyle you may adhere to.
From vintage to nowadays, what has been lost in the concept of the artistic manifest?
I guess the way designers and art directors work, and where they take their influence from. A lot of artists depend on Instagram or tumblr to either promote or use as a canvas to start their work, they think about how to create a brand through these websites and maybe that’s what’s affected how we work as artists now.
The union between Ad Archives and fashion, explain what represents for you the fashion world combined with vintage?
The project just started as a place to archive a range of adverts but I guess notable people in the fashion industry felt it was a space to explore vintage fashion advertising at a point in time. I really
respect and appreciate the art that goes behind these campaigns my favourites as the moment are the Diesel campaigns they show a strong connection between the present and the future they create a utopia as well as show a dystopian possibility of the world we live in.
The motto of Ad Archives is …
Look for things people don’t notice.
A place that could represent you and your website?
A library, I want ad archives to become a library for people to go and be inspired.
INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT: @adarchives