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My Creative Hero: Oliviero Toscani

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Octopus Inc's Jacopo Cinti on how the Italian photographer and art director inspired him to pursue a career in creativity

My Creative Hero: Oliviero Toscani

Jacopo Cinti is a director and a creative director who’s 360° scope covers videos, advertising, digital media, graphic design, publishing, branding, web design, packaging and industrial design.

He specialises in creating content for luxury and high-end products but has also made his mark in other areas including fashion, beauty, automotive and documentary. His client list is impressive and extensive and includes Gucci, Mr Porter, Prada, Tom Ford, Soho House, Lancôme, Goop, Microsoft, Google, MINI and BMW to name but a few.

He has received various awards from the LA Fashion Film Festival, the Berlin Fashion Film Festival and has won two Clio Awards for the project ‘PRADA – How To Be a Winner’.


LBB> Who would you say is your creative hero? 

Jacopo> Italian photographer and art director Oliviero Toscani


LBB> How long has Oliviero been important to you and what are your first memories of meeting him or coming across his work?

Jacopo> Growing up in Italy, Oliviero Toscani has been an incredible creative influence for me since I was very young. I used to religiously buy the magazine ‘Colors’ that he and art director Tibor Kalman created. The images in the magazine were so revolutionary for the time and they are still very relevant now.

I remember being young and walk around my home town, looking at billboards, searching for the latest Benetton advertising campaign by Oliviero Toscani. I knew I was going to be surprised by something extra-ordinary. I used to look at them and tell myself: this is what I want to do when I grow up!

LBB> How did you go about learning more about him and his work?

Jacopo> I never had the pleasure to meet Oliviero Toscani in person but I remember being very young and watching his interviews on TV and reading about him in magazines. I always loved his irreverent point of view, I found it so inspiring, and later in my life it led me to pursue a creative career and study at the European Institute of Design in Italy and abroad. 

LBB> Why is Oliviero such an inspiration to you? 

Jacopo> Oliviero Toscani broke many boundaries with the images that he created. He always chose the unconventional to the conventional and as a young creative, I found this very inspiring.  


LBB> How does he influence you in your approach to your creative work? If he doesn’t what is your approach to creative work?

Jacopo> The way I approach my creative work is the one of a story-teller. I always try to tell a story, to convey a message, whenever I work on a treatment or pitch an idea. It is very important to me that what I make can inspire people, or at least, it can provoke a reaction. And this was very much inspired by Oliviero Toscani’s approach to creativity.


LBB> What piece or pieces of Oliviero's work do you keep coming back to and why?

Jacopo> I love the adverts he created for Italian clothing brand Benetton in the '90s. I particularly love one campaign where you see three identical hearts and the writing WHITE-BLACK-YELLOW over them. I found it so powerful and relevant. 

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Octopus Inc, Mon, 13 Sep 2021 10:14:24 GMT