The international lounge at Gander International Airport (GIA) has been a place of intrigue since its inception.
There have been many famous people, such as Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie O, who have sat in the Herman Miller couches, walked the Italian Terrazzo flooring, or placed their derrieres in the space-age Charles and Ray Eames chairs that one can find in the ladies’ washroom.
And now, GIA has forayed into the world of high fashion, having been the photo set for the fall edition of Bloomberg Pursuits. The quarterly publication, a subsidiary of financial powerhouse Bloomberg, touts itself as “the first and only global luxury magazine edited for the world’s richest people.”
This can be easily attested to by looking at the list of clothing lines used in the photo shoot, including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry Prorsum, Ralph Lauren, Berluti, Brioni, Boss, Proenza Schouler, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange and Söhne, and Dunhill.
Reg Wright, Gander International Airport Authority’s director of marketing and communications, said the magazine contacted the airport authority in May about the possibility of doing a fashion shoot at the airport, after the magazine’s art director saw photographs of the lounge.
“We had a few conference calls, and it all came together pretty quickly after that,” he said. “They sent a team of 12, including photographer Azim Haidaryan, his assistants, makeup and wardrobe personnel, and a male and female model ... the whole works.”
Wright said he asked what compelled the magazine to come to Gander to photograph such a fashion shoot in the airport, and he was told it was because of the lines of the lounge, as well as the fact the 1950s-type design is popular.
“I thought it was going to be an old-school, all-out photo shoot, but it wasn’t,” he said. “They had a scout team that went out and looked at every old nook and cranny at the airport, taking out old equipment Allied (Aviation) had, and lined up what he wanted to do.
“It was fascinating. ... He’s a very gifted photographer, and he said he shoots fashion, but each of his shoots is cinematic of the models in action. It’s not just about fashion. ... This one had a feel of international espionage.”
What came out of the three days at Gander International Airport was a 14-page photo spread in the magazine, as well as the front cover, and another photograph on the table of contents page.
“The results were just amazing,” said Wright. “The exposure such a magazine will bring us will be not so much for airport business, but more from a community and regional perspective. It’s a marketing tool to expose the Gander area to the world, and who knows, it might bring people here for a visit.
“Either way you look at it, it was a fun project to be involved with, and as far as I know, it’s the first time a fashion shoot has been done at the airport.”
Wright said it was a big undertaking, both from an airport and magazine perspective, but all turned out very well.
“They were very pleased with what they got and how they were treated. From our perspective, it’s the airport showcased in a very different light.
“On top of that, they called us the coolest airport in the world.”
For anyone interested in having a peek at the final results of GIA’s fashion shoot, click here.