Driven by adventure and competition, the Sport model’s archetype is Pericles, the general of Athens during the Golden Age.


Driven by legacy and power, the Dress model’s archetype is Julius Caesar, the dictator of the Roman Republic.


Driven by rebellion and authenticity, the Casual model’s archetype is William Shakespeare, the poetic genius that transcends time and culture.


A black and white monochromatic aesthetic dominates each lookbook. The stark contrasts created through this absence of color pull the belts to the forefront of each composition and falls in line with Upton’s color usage ratio.


A phone rings halfway through each video to provoke the archetype. Each provocation is centered around an existential struggle at the heart of the category. Dress, with its theme of finances and industry, pits man against nature; Sport sees man compete against man; and Casual is the eternal struggle between man and self. As a nod to urban legends surrounding Pink Floyd and the Beatles, hidden messages that are only decipherable when played backward are in the audio of each video. One of these messages is the belt name spelled out in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

The Maker

A character clad in dark clothes against a black background appears at three different stages of making the belt: grinding the buckle, cutting the strap, and hand punching the holes. This is “The Maker.” Words that are decipherable only by those who own a belt flash in the background. As his hammer strikes the last of three perfectly-placed holes, the collection floats in midair as the shoe silhouette that inspired the category erupts around it.


Multiple objects that characterize each category appear throughout the videos. One primary object, however, serves as the inanimate embodiment of the archetype representing the category. In the Sport video, a trophy runneth over to symbolize man-vs-man competition and the archetype’s prowess.


Belts are traditionally paired with shoes based on silhouette. Details such as color, material, size, and buckle must all be considered to ensure a proper match. We championed this relationship when designing the belts, and knew that it must be communicated in the lookbooks as well. Each video comes to a climatic finish set against the thundering sound of fireworks as the shoe style representing the category glides through the air amongst the three available colorways.

Shoot Production

Every photo and every moment of each video was storyboarded to ensure the narrative would be communicated in the final product. This same detail-oriented mentality was extended to prop sourcing, selecting talent, choosing the correct location, logistics, and the countless other elements of successfully creating content. After wrapping in the studio, our focus quickly shifted to post-production so that we could edit, color correct, and produce the sound design for each video in order to meet our launch deadline.


Prop Preparation

We had a specific vision for the videos: stark white and no CGI. This required us to track down hard to find props like busts and vintage telephones from antique stores and Hollywood film studios. Once we had the props, we had to paint them all white and determine ways to achieve some of the more visually complicated shots, like freezing roses with dry ice in order to shatter them against glass.


Dress / DUKE

Power, ambition, and sophistication characterize those who’ve reached the pinnacles of financial success. Achievement is also built on control and, to a degree, domination—whether of nature, fellow man, or simply over oneself. Because his powerful presence embodies those traits, we chose Shawn Ross as the model for the DUKE. Looking back through history, we determined that Julius Caesar was the perfect archetype for a category built on power, discipline, and a concern for legacy.

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DUKE Storyboarding

The DUKE video speaks to eternal struggle: to uncover our destiny; to escape the binds of society; to conquer. A ringing phone rouses the model from his stupor. He breaks free from the strictures of contracts and business relationships, embodied in the video by bound, soulless mannequins. A globe representing man’s desire to conquer appears. As the model grows in awareness and influence, the globe is covered in paint, symbolizing his progress.


Sport / WARD

Competition against fellow man, or against oneself, defines sport. For this category, we emphasized the qualities required to succeed in sports: balance, strength, versatility, and determination. The greatest athletes in the world—men like Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali, Jim Thorpe—made their marks on history through mastering those traits. We chose a model with a toned, chiseled, and balanced body to represent the category. Pericles, an Athenian general, hero of the Peloponnesian War, and brilliant statesman, was the archetype for the WARD.

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WARD Storyboarding

The warrior becomes the athlete: this is the WARD’s tale. Archers transform into discus throwers then tennis players, representing the historical flow from war to sport. Awakened by a telephone, the model takes up his bow to fire an arrow at an apple resting on the head of a mannequin—precision is demanded. The apple struck, his destiny of greatness fulfilled. Throughout the video, a trophy is seen filling with liquid, then running over, representing the model’s triumph.


Casual / KNOX

The KNOX is confident, cool, and rebellious. Rebels push culture forward; show the world that there’s more to life than the mundane. Steve McQueen, Jack Kerouac, and Miles Davis: these icons lived a life built on style, a dash of arrogance, and hopeless romance. Our model for the KNOX is a James Dean lookalike, with a breezy, nonchalant persona. Shakespeare, the greatest playwright and poet the world has ever known, who opened countless eyes and hearts to the beauty of the world, is the KNOX’s archetype.

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KNOX Storyboarding

Our KNOX model begins his story a blue collar, working man; a shot of a chainsaw drives the point home. Awakened to his potential by a chest of light, the model wages a battle with a villainous version of himself. Mannequins appear, bound by belts, a metaphor of innocence restrained. The model defeats his other self and the mannequins are released. Our hero is now free to stride toward personal freedom—a bull’s horned skull dripping in black paint represents his charge.


Product Photography

For the product photography, we shot the belts in unique environments and shapes to provide a stark contrast to typically forgettable e-commerce photos. The compositions create illusions of the belts manifesting the characteristics of the archetypes that inspired them. These were all shot at our in-house studio to ensure total control over direction, lighting, and composition.


Upton Belts


Upton MMXV Campaign


Upton MMXV Launch Website


Crosby Square


View From A Blue Moon Book


View From A Blue Moon Film


bitches brew


transworld surf redesign


corazon cabo


spy happy lens


john john florence


launch tradeshow


color magazine re-design


transworld surf features


tropically yours


transworld snowboarding covers


vunabaka resort, fiji




encinitas directory


flight to the flats


transworld snowboarding features