#1020 Models are so 09

Image /Fashion Gone Rogue

I like the new Burberry campaign image above for two reasons. First – the guy on the left’s collarless shirt. I love collarless shirts and we don’t see nearly enough of them. But we should – they’re the ideal summer shirt (alongside chambray shirts). Forget tee shirts and collared shirts (and don’t get me started on henleys – the wackest non tee shirt/non shirt ever created), every man should own at least one collarless shirt. Second reason, the cast. The guy on the left is Alex Watson, brother of actress Emma Watson (who’s in the middle), and the guy on the right is musician George Craig. None of them are models. They’re just good looking, English cool kids. And it got me thinking. Why don’t we see more of this in New Zealand?

We might not breed scores of top models here in New Zealand, but we do have a lot of young, cool, good looking musicians, actors, artists and kids-about-town. If it’s good enough for the Christopher Bailey/Mario Testino Burberry crew, it should be good enough for New Zealand labels. I’m looking at you Stolen Girlfriends Club, Huffer, Zambesi, Karen Walker, twentysevennames etc etc.

Why not swap out that same old, same old model you use every other season and replace them with some young up and comers? If you don’t know where to start, just go down to DOC bar on a Friday night and throw a dart. It’s bound to hit someone worth using.

Here’s my theory.

The more exposure the young guys get, the more successful they become. The more successful they become, the more influential they get. The more influential they get, the more other young kids will look up to them and think how awesome they are and how much they’d like to emulate them (ie. wear your clothes). Plus, the more famous they become, the more you can claim that you discovered them. And we all know how much everyone loves to do that.

Then for those of us who don’t have limitless funds to spend on clothes, if a big bunch of super cool kids are spawned – who are regularly seen in designers’ campaigns and on the trend/gossip pages of local tabloid magazines and who actually have some clout – the mass retailers will have to catch on at some point and start knocking off the cool kids’ outfits. It’ll be like a perfect little Kate Moss/Top Shop situation.

I know New Zealand is small and the population is minute but I still believe something like this can be created.

Who’s with me?

p.s. I forgot to mention that Miss Crabb is way ahead of the curve on this one, using both Lorna Storm and Noelle McCarthy in campaigns in the last four years.


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  1. Anonymous says

    my guess would be NOT 62 Models, Clyne, Nova, August etc etc (and probably not anyone who actually are models with them, who by the way don’t have that much work available to them anyway in this HUGE market…)
    Considering the rates the “cool”fashion labels feel they should pay – think “a free T-shirt” etc I feel you’re totally on a winning thought!
    Why not continue to push this image of “celebrity” for the only reason that you think you’re cool, and that’s enough to propel you above and beyond… I get it that the ones they use are based on their looks generally, but hey that’s why they’re used in pictures – they look good in them (and they fit the clothes well)…
    Good luck with getting your friends a few free shirts, but watch your back eh, there’s bound to be a few pretty people following you, looking to get their life back…

  2. Anonymous says

    I like the idea aswell, but think of how many cool kids are models already. Most of the models in this country have other creative talents ie music, art, acting, writing in order to survive here and/or for their future after modelling. The work is so limiting in this market and sometimes you just need a professional to do the job.
    But it would be cool to get some hot guys from a good band here in a campaign & 1AM often feature a spread on an un-model and it always looks great. Sometimes it’s just nice to see someone who’s talents you admire selling you clothes, rather than someone who’s purely known for their physical appearance!

  3. Anonymous says

    Hell will probably freeze over the day Marc Moore doesn’t cast his lady love in a SGC campaign, lookbook, key ring photo, e-brochure, e-card, commemorative placemat, t-shirt logo. You get the idea. The dude loves casting his girlfriend.

  4. Anonymous says

    I’m not with you!

    I’m sick of seeing models preen and pose all the time! Young ones; old ones; fat ones; skinny ones; whatever! They’re just a distraction from the clothes.

    I think they should start using mannequins and robots on the runway and in campaigns.

    Death to models!

  5. Leonie says

    I’ve been thinking how sick I am of seeing celebrities muscle in on model turf. Don’t like it. I think I prefer each profession to stick to what they do best. As for cool kids. Nah. Surely that is demeaning to the work models do now, Isaac?

  6. Anonymous says

    I like this idea, but not the idea of inflating the egos of ‘cool kids’ who are on the cusp of something good, but not quite there yet.

    Emma Watson works so well for Burberry because she has turned into such a style icon this past year. Oh, and she’s kind of made a few succesful films… She has achieved something other than being young, hip and fashionable.

    The idea of picking out a scenester who is only well known in a small clique to then propel them further into the public eye via exposure (therefore making them more ‘valid’) is something that would only become annoying if it became common practice in NZ fashion. Because if they aren’t that well known to begin with, doesn’t that just make them models…?

    I just don’t know if NZ is big enough yet to pull this off on the same level as Burberry and other designers have, rather than churning out another bunch of glorified hipsters. Because lord knows Auckland needs more of them…

  7. Anonymous says

    i think this is the kinda thing that only really works, and more importantly, actually gets taken seriously in the UK or america. we’re just too small. as much as i love the idea.

  8. Anonymous says

    Emma Watson might not be a model but she sure has an agent (who probably did her brother’s contract too). Campaigns do pay in NZ (not much, but usually four figures) but they are tightly regulated by agents. Non-models would be at risk of unknowingly being ripped off.

  9. Anonymous says

    Ok, So I see the idea your having here Isaac but it couldnt work. We have Emma Watson for Burberry. Peaches Geldof for Ultimo lingerie etc but there is no New Zealand equivalent.
    I mean think of the possibilities. On that level of publicity we only have Simon “Hi im simon from midnight youth” Oscroft or any of his band mates. We have no media coverage of those sorts of people. The only ones I can think of are people like Milly Holmes ( Who for obvious reasons would be highly inappropriate) or Actreses such as Antonia Prebble and with her mainstream appeal I dont think she has the high fashion look you are suggesting at. Not that Emma Watson does either. Im officially rambling but still. Consider the actual possibilities.
    There is always Peebles who has that connection to fashion and the well-known heritage. But I cant imagine her having the desire to jumo on the other side now that she has been styling for so long.

    Any actua ideas?

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