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Being or Becoming?

In the world of fashion, it is little to say that the notion of representation is a strategic terrain. If certain brands choose to only show their products, most of them create images staging their ideal customers. Their targets appear in situations imagined to increase the value of their creations and to differentiate them from the competition. The results are not striking, as all clothes end up looking all the same. Hence the temptation to focus elsewhere, at the societal level for instance, because the way we dress is a powerful indicator of our time. It is also the opportunity to communicate about values, which is absolutely necessary these days. 

Among men’s brands that have made this choice, two set themselves apart from others. First, Jules. Since last September, men would be men in progress, a smart way to play with the spirit of the time, which reshuffles the cards of seduction behaviors, suggests new archetypes and changes the rules of the game. Then Celio, with its spirit of protest illustrated by its slogan “Be normal”, which reminds us of its most famous headline only people under 40 can remember: I don’t care about fashion.

On the one hand, a man in progress who wishes to change to become “better”: more respectful, more aware, more open… On the other hand, a man who says stop and claims his opposition to change and his right to remain himself. But what does being normal mean in the fashion world, innately marked by the idea of seduction that etymologically means to stray from the straight and narrow? Is it possible to be normal in a world under pressure, with social media always stirring up comparison? And being proud of it, as Celio suggest it, jumbling up having a “normed life” with “being normal”? The durability and the attractiveness of the promise are questionable, particularly among those under 30. 

If both approaches accurately describe a man willing to get rid of stereotypes, their means represent two opposite brand attitudes. Some want to help their customers by sticking to their lifestyle, while others want to change them by acting on their attitudes and behaviors. Which is the most ambitious one? 

So What ?

For a brand, representing their targets’ diversity is no longer enough. They need now to express how they can help them grow and evolve. A modern brand has the ambition to change its customers.

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