Clothes retailer French Connection has unveiled its first campaign with photographer Rankin’s Full Service agency, featuring sketches of its designs superimposed onto naked models
From Sketch to Store was written by Vicky Lawton (who was also creative director) and art directed by Callum Crease. Rankin photographed the models naked before illustrator Jo Bird added sketches on top.
This is the Autumn/Winter 2013 campaign for the retailer which will run until December in print, outdoor and online.
In launching the campaign, French Connection marketing director Jennifer Roebuck claimed that it “brings out the fearless nature of the brand and our design credibility but with a twist. When you look back at the iconic FCUK campaigns you can also see the fearless attitude and that is part of the brand and our design philosophy.”
The use of nudity perhaps makes it more provocative than the previous This is the Woman, This is the Man campaigns from Fallon and subsequently 101.
The determinedly quirky nature of that work felt like a deliberate move to distance French Connection from the FCUK days. The latter did wonders for the brand in the short term but became a problem when it wanted to move on and present a less laddish image.
The new campaign feels like an attempt to mix the fashion credibility and visual sophistictaion of the Fallon/101 work with a bit of the old FCUK spirit and eye for courting publicity, assuming brief nudity is still seen to be shocking in this context? The word “fearless’ was used both by FCUK’s Roebuck and Rankin at the launch so it seems as if they are both prepared (hoping?) for some controversy.
Will it work? High street fashion is so brutally competitive, more so with the advent of online brands such as Asos, and so dependent on having the right clothes at the right price at the the right time that an ad campaign can only have a limited impact on sales. This is more of a positioning exercise and a such sets the brand apart from its competitors with a little bit of the old attitude.
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The July issue of Creative Review is a type special, with features on the Hamilton Wood Type Museum, the new Whitney identity and the resurgence of type-only design. Plus the Logo Lounge Trend Report, how Ideas Foundation is encouraging diversity in advertising and more.