As celebrity/fashion collaborations go, Boy George for Dior Homme is up there with my favourites. It’s just a genius move, from George, Dior and Kris Van Assche – Dior Homme’s creative head. In an interview with WWD, Van Assche said: “It’s about music, it’s about cinema, it’s about fashion…It’s about a certain memory I have of the Eighties that remains very much relevant for 2017.”
Collaborations like this are clever. It opens up a brand to a hugely different customer, and if even 1% of that new customer base buys something because their ‘favourite’ celeb is featured in their new campaign, it’s a success!
Boy George brings with him not only the gays, but an older demographic. Fans of his from when he first came onto the scene will still be loyal now, still be loving what he wears. And since being on The Voice and various other shows, he probably has a whole new fan base of younger millennials, who are invaluable to a brand! What’s more, he offers a unique way of styling the pieces from the spring summer ’17 collection, one the brand wouldn’t normally be so brave to feature (rest assured though, A$AP Rocky and others are part of the campaign too, if George’s styling isn’t to everyone’s taste).
I asked trends consultant Alison Farrington what she thought about these new celebrity campaigns. She said: “Luxury brands have needed to push the boundaries for celebrity-focused ad campaigns for some time. Victoria Beckham for Marc Jacobs, Kimye for Balmain etc served a purpose for the 30 seconds of fame/water cooler moment, but these type of campaigns have had their time, and consumers are bored of these predictable ambassadors.”
She continues: “What’s more interesting is luxury brand celebrity collaborations with purpose. The Boy George for Dior campaign resonates for its statement that embraces androgyny. Dior’s creative director, Van Assche, says he is working with Boy George for the 80s clubbing/music memories but it also introduces the brand to a new, younger millennial or Gen X audience that recognises who Boy George is and what he represents. This campaign says hello to cutting edge attitude – let’s push the boundaries.”
There are other celebrity campaign collabs that I’m in absolute awe of from the last couple of years, like Pamela Anderson for Missguided.co.uk. This one BLEW MY MIND!
PURE. GENIUS. She looks incredible, and I think girls still aspire to be like her, especially Missguided.co.uk’s audience! And did you see their more recent venture? With Instagram superstar Granny, Baddie Winkle…
And what about Marc Jacobs, who of late has featured nearly every single queen from Rupaul’s Drag Race in campaigns, videos and press shots, plus Bette Midler in the last campaign, and CHERRRRR in the one before that. It’s amazing how he has put such a personal stamp on his campaigns – he’s a massive fan of Cher, Bette, Beth Ditto (also starring in a campaign), and he has been a judge on Drag Race. He’s managed to shoehorn all his passions into his work!
Some how though, it all works!
A photo posted by Marc Jacobs (@themarcjacobs) on
Alison concludes: “In 2017, brands need to think: out with the stereotypes and in with pushing boundaries. While brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci have surfed the androgynous wave for the last year or so, now let’s see more anti-hero, anti-establishment luxury campaigns coming through.”