WGSN Intimates and Swim editor Katie Atkinson celebrates how lingerie campaigns are moving away from the ‘perfect body’ to embrace real women and real diversity.
Lingerie campaigns have traditionally had a ‘type’, promoting an idea about the ‘perfect’ body, generally heavily airbrushed and no bigger than a size 8 (UK). But things are changing, campaigns are becoming more authentic and true, in response to the fact that consumers can see past the ‘perfect’ images and are not afraid to tell brands via social media what they really think about the campaign.
The brands trailblazing a new, more real message in their campaigns include Erica M, Nubian Skin and Selfridges. The focus is on embracing all body types in their latest video and editorial campaigns.
As a brand, Nubian Skin’s mission has been “redefining nude”, with hosiery that matches almost all skin tones, rather than just pale ones. And after a successful launch, with a strong e-commerce platform and stockists that include House of Fraser and Nordstrom, Nubian Skin’s designer and director Ade is back with a new collection. The new Africa Collection called Moroccan Nights, which just launched is all about challenging the way Africa is seen in the media and society.
‘On a personal level, being Nigerian-British, I see and experience a very different “Africa” to the one often portrayed in the media. With the Moroccan Nights collection and hopefully future editions of the Africa Collection, I wanted to move past the idea of producing in Africa meaning charity – this is a celebration of the excellence present throughout Africa. The design, the skill, the technical know-how to develop a luxury product from Africa’.
‘With the campaign, I wanted to do something different, something that celebrated a pan-Africanism – so we have a model who is from Benin, with the ancient practice of scarification, but done in a very modern way. We’re mixing West African / Sub-Saharan influence with a Northern African theme. The images themselves are very modern, but there are so many traditional and old references as well. Ultimately, it’s the idea that there is no one Africa, it’s multifaceted,’ she adds.
It’s a dynamic campaign, one that resonates with her brand community who seek authenticity, and as an Intimates editor I think that the lingerie industry is the perfect place for this. It’s an old adage but great lingerie can change the way that you feel about yourself, help you walk a little taller and with more confidence.
The need for authenticity and diversity isn’t just evident in brand campaigns either, for brands like ‘Erica M’, a lingerie and hosiery brand we met at Curve in New York, it informs the whole brand strategy. From product development to the S/S 17 campaign that features models with various shapes, sizes and genders; celebrating how broad her consumer demographic is.
This is an exciting time for lingerie campaigns, and hopefully this new, more authentic, body positive era continues.
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