India: Condé Nast India announces the launch of ‘Behind the Mask’, a mammoth, multilayered social awareness campaign with Myntra, helmed by a five-episode video series, to be showcased on TLC, TLC HD and Discovery Plus with a call-to-action that benefits Indian karigars (craftspeople). These videos ‘unmask’ five of India’s leading fashion designers – Manish Malhotra, Anita Dongre, Tarun Tahiliani, Gaurav Gupta and Rahul Mishra on film, giving us an intimate peek into their lives during the pandemic. In these episodes, each designer also creates a prototype of a mask using elements from Indian art and culture, based on the current times. These designs then serve as inspiration for five unique mask collections, each an ode to a craft or a community. Myntra will be offering an assortment of 34 styles and 20 designs that will be available in packs 1, 4, 5 and 20.
As Alex Kuruvilla, Managing Director of Condé Nast India elaborates, “’Behind the Mask’ is one of the most ambitious projects we’ve ever undertaken. From video concept and production to packaging and product design to bringing on board multiple partners, this activity was entirely orchestrated by Condé Nast India during the lockdown, managed remotely by multiple stakeholders. Our objective is twofold: to promote the wearing of masks, and to raise funds for the karigars (artisans) who tirelessly work behind the scenes of the Indian textile industry and are among those worst hit by the pandemic. This initiative achieves the first objective by mass-producing masks inspired by the designers’ prototypes. And it raises funds by donating all profits from the sales of these masks to GiveIndia—all this while creating great content that is at the core of Condé Nast India’s legacy.”
This is also the first time two Condé Nast India titles, Vogue and GQ, have joined forces for a campaign of this scale. What makes this project interesting is the extent of collaboration required to pull it off, especially since it was entirely produced in the era of lockdown and self-isolation where nothing but the “essential” was permitted. The making of the video series is a case study in itself, with everything from conceptualising to scripting and shooting done remotely, with help from the designers’ loved ones who happily agreed to play co-filmmakers. Using mobile phones and digital cameras, with extensive notes from the director and DOP and briefings over video calls, the team managed to pull off these videos, that too in broadcast specifications.
To execute this project, Condé Nast India brought on board Myntra to produce and sell the masks, TLC, TLC HD to broadcast and Discovery Plus to stream the episodes, and GiveIndia to ensure the profits from the sales reach the right NGOs.
Amar Nagaram, CEO, Myntra, added, “’Behind the Mask’ is an extraordinary initiative, a coming together of enthusiastic and dedicated folks for a common, but profound cause. We wholeheartedly appreciate the efforts of Condé Nast and are proud to be a part of this ‘one-of-a- kind’ association. Our wide shopper base and reach, will enable these masks, inspired by the concepts of India’s leading fashions designers, to reach millions of consumers across the country, thereby supporting this fundraiser campaign in a big way.”
Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery, said, “Given the Pandemic, there is a need for various stakeholders to come together for the larger good of society. This cause led initiative has the potential to engage audiences in a very endearing way and leave an indelible mark on the audiences. We are proud to have played our part in supporting Kaarigars and remain committed to support such meaningful initiatives in the future as well.”
GiveIndia President Ashok Kumar ER says: “Our crafts artisans represent the backbone of India’s rich heritage and these have been extremely challenging times for them. So we are very grateful that through this partnership Condé Nast India will not only support the karigars but also highlight the crucial role they play in the textile industry. For those of us continuing to stay safe at home, ‘Behind The Mask’ also acts as a reminder not to take the lives of those less fortunate for granted. Since mid-March GiveIndia has been supporting communities worst-hit by the COVID-19 crisis through our India COVID Response Fund, having disbursed ₹114+crore so far. And we welcome Condé Nast India’s contribution.”
The episodes will be streamed on the Myntra app on 12th August 2020 and aired on TLC and TLC HD and streamed on Discovery + on 17th August/18th August 2020. The masks will be available for sale on Myntra from 12th August onwards.