#732 Ash Stymest and Cole Mohr for Barneys – NZ companies should take a leaf out of this mailer


All Images /Fashionisto via Barneys

This is what I’m talking about. Barneys is a fairly mainstream, high-end American department store, with products (including denim) appealing to a pretty large group of people, but check out their new F/W Denim Mailer. Do they book big, commercial beefcakes to advertise their jeans? No, they’ve used Ash Stymest and Cole Mohr, two of the skinniest, edgiest male models in the world right now. Why? First of all, skinny guys look better in clothes. Second, the era of the beefcake died somewhere around 1999.

So why are commercial New Zealand companies (I’m looking at you Hallensteins, Barkers and Farmers) so afraid to try something new and show off their menswear on some younger, cooler, edgier guys? You can’t tell me that New Zealand men only want to look at rugby player-type guys because I won’t believe you. Look at ads on NZ TV. They’ve been introducing skinny young guys (in the form of skaters, emos or indie-looking dudes) since 2006. New Zealanders aren’t THAT behind on international clothing trends, but our commercial menswear fashion retailers are when it comes to models. It kills me.

When will they move on?

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Comments

  1. says

    I would have to assume that the ‘everyman’ that those commercial stores are marketing their products towards must be typical rugby loving, All Black idolising men.

    The thing that gets me is that it will never change unless the big brands make an attempt to educate their customers.

    I was talking to a guy from Working Style yesterday who said that the difference with Hallensteins and them is that Hallensteins markets the black suit, so every guy who walks in the door for a suit comes out with a black one. But at Working Style they advertise pinstripes and blues and charcoals, so guys walk out the door in those types of suits.

    If the big brands make an attempt to shake things up they may find that they’ll attract a wider audience than they’ve got right now.

    But I guess they’re too scared of alienating their typical customers.

  2. Anonymous says

    Uh, I hardly think Barney’s is comparable to Hallensteins or Farmers, they are unashamedly mainstream with a very low price point… All of the things in the campaign you posted are around $200 US+ Very different markets Isaac.

  3. Anonymous says

    Uh, I hardly think Barney’s is comparable to Hallensteins or Farmers, they are unashamedly mainstream with a very low price point… All of the things in the campaign you posted are around $200 US+ Very different markets Isaac.

  4. says

    Thank you Anon!

    Speaking of Zippora, Glassons used her for their last campaign too – she’s an edgy girl, but Glassons obviously believed that NZ girls could relate to her.

    I think the menswear companies need to have a little more faith in NZ men!

  5. Anonymous says

    As someone who is a buyer in the NZ industry for a mainstream store, I can assure you that the vast majority of middle NZ is a rugby loving beefcake. While I agree with your comments, you have to target your biggest audience and leave the high fashion to the likes of Crane and W/S as that’s where the sales are.

  6. says

    More to the point, why do those US and European mega-mainstream brands (Abercrombie and Fitch, United Colours of Benetton, Gap, plus all the ones I’ve already mentioned) hire the most directional photographers to shoot their campaigns? David Sims, Bruce Weber etc. and book those cool boys?

    I would assume it’s because they want to have some semblance of being up there with what’s cool in the fashion market place.

    Also, because when the clothes are styled that well on such cool looking guys shot by such amazing photographers, the end results are aspirational.

    And at the end of the day, isn’t that what fashion – be it mainstream or high end – is all about?

  7. says

    Skinny guys look better in clothes?
    Not sure I believe that one, the ideal of beauty changes with the times and at the moment I think we are reaching saturation point with the very skinny bad boy look, it was made fashionable again with Heidi Slimane and now its gone commercial as you have demonstrated.
    I think Farmers and Hallensteins model choice could even be considered cutting edge now as everything is cylindrical, just look at the models at Givenchy latest menswear to see.

  8. charlotte says

    yes but NZ has never touched on the skinny edgy dude ever (in advertising), mainstream NZ don’t have a clue who your hedi’s and cole’s are to even comprehend being cutting edge (with the damn beefcake models!).

    we’re just too … rugby bloke-ish, wouldn’t want to have some ‘effeminate, dude-that’s-skinnier-than-a-girl’ on display, might be gay or something. *eye roll*

  9. says

    You’re right Charlotte, and that’s why those mainstream companies should be educating the market! Maybe it needs to start with the model agents – they could do some powerpoint presentations and show those ad agencies what’s what.

  10. Anonymous says

    I think Farmers need to broaden their horizons, end the exclusive with 62 Models and try new younge edgy guys!

  11. K dub says

    Isaac, I totally agree with you on all points, however, my qualm as a 28inch waisted, 5ft6 guy, is that even if Farmers, Hallensteins etc. were to use skinny edgy guys for the advertising campaigns, they wouldn’t have the clothes in those sizes to sell! Unless I buy boys clothes, they rarely have my size (Then they’re too short, small, naive). Luckily for me, I would never buy from either store.

    Sidepoint, I am XS, why should I pay the same price for an XL that uses at least twice as much fabric, twice the space to ship, wash in the machine, and time to decompose! Aren’t I cheeky, something to do with Markers I think, but still. Fat tax perhaps?

  12. Anonymous says

    Isaac I’d hardly say you are the typical NZ male customer…Barney’s stocks very directional fashion like Dries van Noten, hardly a Hallensteins. Topshop, H&M all target younger customers as well. While Abercrombie may use Bruce Weber (who by the way is all about the beefcake california man) they also have semi naked beefcakes standing outside their stores and on their billboards. I think you are being narrow minded by thinking everyone wants the same look as you do. Trust me, middle America is not looking at Ash and Cole and thinking “hey, I never considered being a skinny rocker with tats, that looks really good”…they are thinking “look at those skinny fashion fags”.

  13. Anonymous says

    “Trust me, middle America is not looking at Ash and Cole and thinking “hey, I never considered being a skinny rocker with tats, that looks really good”…they are thinking “look at those skinny fashion fags”.

    Umm, these companies spend an enormous amount on their advertising and research enormously to make sure that what they are spending on works.. if it didn’t make them dividends they wouldn’t use those models /photographers/ art directors
    so you can be guaranteed that this is NOT what the consumer is thinking

    (Also, the Hallensteins/Glassons of NZ also carry out market research to make sure their advertising is worthwhile, so possibly the beefcake is working and yes I agree, Abercrombie is almost synonymous with beefcake!)

  14. Anonymous says

    @ 9.37 post…I agree with you that their marketing departments spend a lot of money on market research. The point is, Barney’s market is not mainstream America. Its pretty high end fashion consumers. In New York no less, which is not exactly representative of most of America. I am not saying the Barney’s consumer is thinking this, I am saying the majority of the country would. And this is similar with the majority of the country in NZ. The point is the Barney’s market is much more similar to say Fabric’s market in Auckland than that of a Hallensteins.

  15. Anonymous says

    After viewing Cole Mohr’s appearances in the Buckler shows of ’08, I’d have to say I am a fan and although his look isn’t something I see a lot of in Auckland, I believe it would be inspirational in bringing some of the edgier boys to fashion “other” than the goth remnants we see them adorned in here.
    (Akld Buckler)

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