The fashion world and all its inhabitants know that quirky is always the new black. Whether it be a dress made out of meat adorning a popstar, those Gucci ads circa 2003 or transsexual model Lea T strutting her/his stuff down the catwalk – the odd and eccentric are always embraced with open arms.
Which brings me to the new FCUK ads. Remember the S/S 2010 ‘This is the woman, this is the man’ spiel? I liked it, I really did. In fact, just the other day I found myself muttering in a terrible French accent ‘Zis is ze man, he does not wear sequinssssss, he knows not what sequins izz’. I even found the strange installation of robotic waving bunny ears in the Oxford Street store delightful. But I fear the apparent success of this campaign has seen FCUK push the boat out just a little too far, as witnessed in their 2011 S/S creative.
See, the attraction with the previous campaign was that although it was a bit left field, its clever messaging was easy to relate to and enabled consumers to have a tangible connection with the brand. I know several men that could sum up their life motto with ‘be brave, eat meat, dress well’. And numerous times I have looked at achingly beautiful models stretched over some impossible artistic object and thought ‘Well, the dress is nice but she doesn’t look like she’s enjoying herself really’.
This sense of humour and irony within the creative was refreshing. I don’t know if I can say the same about the new image of the FCUK clad beauty having her legs shaved in barber shop by a tattooed geezer, or the image of a beautiful woman sat in the gutter eating a burger.
Sure, I see the fun element – but at the end of the day can the brand maintain the solidarity they built up with the previous campaign with a selection of images that helps to widen the gap between the pretentious fashion world and the everyday consumer? Time will tell, I suppose.