WGSN Picks: Top 5 holiday campaigns of 2016

The holidays traditionally surround the three F’s; family, friends and food- but of course we are in the business of fashion, and so during this season we’ve been keeping a close eye on the brands that are using their holiday campaigns to really stand out from the crowd and make something that consumers will not only talk about, and share on Instagram, but be encouraged to shop as well.

In this digital age, fashion brands spanning from fast-fashion to the luxury market must work harder to  create engaging campaigns to attract consumers (getting the intern to create a Snapchat campaign just won’t cut it). Luckily, brands are rising to the occasion and creating some great content. There’s also some major commonalities in the campaigns we’re seeing this season from peace and unity (to reflect our uncertain political and social times) to embracing individualism and just simply sex appeal.

Here are 5 of the coolest holiday campaigns we’ve spotted so far.


American Eagle Outfitters

Retailer American Eagle Outfitters launched their Fall 2016 #WeAllCan campaign, specifically aimed at the  Gen Z market. The ambassadors for the campaign include a diverse and individual set of social influencers who span from singers to actors and social media stars. The retailer took an interesting dynamic on the typical holiday campaign, by choosing influencers with organic relationships such as sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey, twins brothers Dylan and Cole Sprouse, and best friends Yara Shahidi and Rowan Blanchard.

“We chose this unique and diverse cast, with their message of sharing and contributing, to ensure that the distinct voices of today’s youth continue to be heard,” said Chad Kessler, American Eagle Outfitters Global Brand president.

The faces of #WeAllCan sport shirts, jackets, joggers, scarves and other winter apparel from the American Eagle holiday 2016 Collection in a series of social media videos and print ads. The brand also partnered with Feeding America, the leading domestic hunger-relief organisation and will donate one meal for every holiday gift box sold in-store and online.


    EXPRESS The mens and womenswear retailer Express launched their holiday campaign, #ExpressLife, featuring the current face of the brand supermodel Karlie Kloss. The series is an integrated marketing and advertising campaign, that premiered across digital, social media, broadcast and in-store platforms. In the campaign Kloss represents #ExpressLife and brings to life key customer mindsets of the Holiday season: Arrive in Style, Get in the Spirit, Holiday Parties Every Weekend, and Snowbound all Season, while grounding each life moment in product. In addition to Kloss, the brand has created a group of “Expressionists”, a cast of individuals who, according to the brand are composed of “fearless individuals who set out to inspire the world and build their own success story by transforming their passion into their career.” The Expressionists cast includes mixologist Elliot Clark, founder of Apartment Bartender; beauty vlogger Deepica Mutyala, founder of Deepicam; DIY maven Erica Domesek, founder of P.S. I Made This; wellness expert and advocate for holistic living Francheska Medina, founder of HeyFranHey; and chef and environmental advocate Gabe Kennedy. The chosen Expressionists ambassadors are all visionaries who made their dreams come into fruition.            

Let the good times glow… #ExpressLife by #KarlieKloss A photo posted by EXPRESS (@express) on



Topshop is also showcasing the newfound attitude surrounding individualism this holiday season, through their ‘Individual Spirit’ campaign. This features 9 of the next generation’s up-and-coming supermodels sporting the Fall/Winter party and holiday outfits everyone will be talking about. The collection includes colourful velvet jumpers and shiny sheer metallics, and includes models Lottie Moss, Stella Maxwell, Marjan Jonkan, Jing Wen, Kiki Willems, Cami Morrone, Londone Myers, Damaris Goddrie and Caitie Green.

Topshop’s creative director Kate Phelan said: “This season is about the individual spirit of a woman – she no longer wants to be part of a tribe, she has her own style.”

Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 2.37.27 PM



Celebrating its 160th anniversary, London-based luxury brand Burberry took a different campaign route this holiday season. The brand focused on their deep and historic roots in admiring the founder of the international chain, Thomas Burberry. “The Tale of Thomas Burberry” is a short 3 minute film that dramatically recounts the life of Burberry from working as an apprentice at a local draper to inventing the breathable weatherproof fabric gabardine. The unique take on a holiday campaign surely stands out within the luxury market.



Luxury retailer Barneys New York has brought together a collection of celebrated artists to interpret its themed “Love Peace Joy” store front theme for this upcoming holiday season. Artist contributors to the project include visual and performance artist Nick Cave, contemporary artist Rob Pruitt, artist collective Studio Job, mixed media artist Ebony G Patterson, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone of Comedy Central’s South Park. The brand is encouraging consumers to immerse themselves in this activation, by donating $5 to the #LovePeaceJoyProject for every social media post with the hashtag and an accompanied photograph of the participant sharing peace, love or joy. 100% of the proceeds collection will benefit SYLEFUND and the Russel Westbrook Why Not? Foundation.

The #LovePeaceJoyProject feels like the most heart-warming holiday campaign of the bunch, and offers some much needed cheer and kindness for the season.

#LovePeaceJoyProject- holiday campaigns 2016



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