Before she was Lana Del Rey – the 2012 pop iconoclast who has spearheaded a singing career, modeling contract and Mulberry handbag line – Lizzy Grant was an unknown New York City songstress with a love for Coney Island, summertime sadness and film noir. And as we learned this weekend, for Keds – the no-nonsense All-American sneaker brand you probably last wore as a kid. In 2009, the brand reinvented itself by inviting up-and-coming creative talents to design a shoe for them. Grant was one of the lucky ones, though we’re just now getting to see footage from the partnership.
In the promo, Grant appears chipper, amiable, and unfettered by impending controversy. She is portrayed as a bottle blonde in the iconic Coney Island amusement park, a place she cites among her favorite people-watching places. “I write about what I know,” she says, as she preens in a sundress, peachy Keds and heart-shaped sunglasses while one of her early, jazzier tracks plays in the background. She compares her writing methods to Francis Ford Coppola’s, referencing his famous advice, “If you sit down to write at the same time every day, the muse always knows where you are.” Though the ad is about indulging in summer kicks, it’s also an accidental pop artifact. You can almost see the Del Rey persona forming in front of your eyes. “I just want to do something I can be the best at,” she says candidly, while she grins and munches on cotton candy. Thank you, Keds, for this fascinating early character study.
Watch Lana Del Rey’s Keds Collective promo below:
(Update: according to Lana Del Rey’s publicist, the video was unauthorized to be released to the public and has since been blocked from Youtube.)