Hikaru Utada Cartier

Hikaru Utada Stars in Cartier Campaign, Soundtracked by “Somewhere Near Marseilles”

Hikaru stars in a luxury campaign, soundtracked by a ‘BAD Mode’ favorite.

Good news: BAD Mode is continuing to go the distance (reference).

Six months after the initial release of their eighth Japanese studio album, Hikaru Utada is further extending the album’s shelf life with a chic pairing between a critically hailed selection from the record and an iconic luxury crossover collection.

“Somewhere Near Marseilles” – the pulsating, Floating Points co-produced, NPR approved, nearly 12-minute opus from Hikaru’s Billboard Japan No. 1 record soundtracks CARTIER TRINITY FOR CHITOSE ABE OF sacai, which kicked off on Tuesday (July 5) alongside a campaign video starring none other than Hikaru Utada.

The visual marks a reunion between Hikki and director Yuichi Kodama, who also shot the music videos for their Shiina Ringo tag-teams, “Nijikan Dake No Vacance” and “Roman to Soroban.”

The clip sees the singer-songwriter encountering massive versions of the Cartier Trinity rings floating in space between flashing lights and laser beams, evoking some of the sci-fi-like elements of the “Forevermore” music video, and perhaps some of the shadowy stuff of “忘却” with KOHH. As the rings slowly descend, they shrink down in size, gradually adorning the Ultra Blue icon.

Stay (pink, yellow, and white) gold, indeed.

For those curious, the items are described as a limited-edition jewelry collection created by Cartier and Chitose Abe, the designer and founder of Japanese luxury fashion brand sacai, combining their respective visions for a reimagining of the nearly 100-year-old “Trinity” ring design, originally conceived by Louis Cartier in 1924, and designed at the request of French poet Jean Cocteau.

Six limited-edition designs will be available exclusively in Japan starting July 7, and will head worldwide this winter.

Along with the campaign video, there’s also an interview with Hikaru on the special site, in which they talk about the making of the campaign movie, as well as choosing “Somewhere Near Marseilles” as the soundtrack song.

There’s also a touching, deeply personal reflection included in the Q&A, featuring the kind of thoughtful introspection one would come to expect from Hikaru.

When asked about the ring’s connections to their own life, they said: “I use the Trinity ring that my mother gave me every day on my left little finger. It was custom-made by my mother…recently, I learned that Princess Diana also had a Trinity ring on her little finger. I think my mother was probably influenced by her, but I was kind of happy to know that Jean Cocteau was doing that too. Just as there is the Trinity of Christianity and the Trikaya in Buddhism, ‘3’ may be a special number for those who pursue the truth.”

The lengthy BAD Mode promotional run has only kept fans guessing all year long, in the best way possible: from the Air Studios Live Sessions (graciously made available on streaming services, no less!), to the surprise Coachella performance, to a first-ever Vogue Japan cover. Then again, it’s the only appropriate way to honor one of the year’s greatest albums.

And in case you missed it, check out my life-affirming conversation with Hikaru Utada for Billboard.

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