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Why creatives have become the faces of brands' lookbooks and campaigns

Acne Studios, Burberry, Gucci and the new faces of fashion

Why creatives have become the faces of brands' lookbooks and campaigns Acne Studios, Burberry, Gucci and the new faces of fashion

No regular models were used in the Acne Studios FW20 campaign shot by Anders Edstrom. Those standing in front of the lens are in fact the faces of the employees of the brand, shot by the photographer in the company of their dogs. The brand's creative director, Jonny Johansson, drew inspiration from the subculture of dog lovers – which resonates aesthetically with the canine leitmotiv expressed through the clothes of the entire collection. And while this choice seems fully circumstantial and consistent, it's impossible not to compare this campaign to Gucci's Epilogue digital show and Burberry's lookbook for the Resort 2021 collection, both presented in July in the final stages of the lockdown. 

Writer Agatha Christie said: "A clue is a clue. Two clues are a coincidence. Three clues are proof." When three different brands decide to use their team as testimonials of campaigns and lookbooks, you can't talk about simple trends but a real statement. These three campaigns are in short proof that fashion is experiencing a moment of introspection, certainly due to the economic and health crisis is going through.   

The decision to create this kind of campaigns adds relatability to lookbooks and campaigns, which bring to the fore (and as people and not just faces) individuals who contribute every day to building a brand's identity with a more powerful effect of identification in those who look at them. As Don-Alvin Adegeest of Fashion United points out while commenting on the Acne Studios campaign: 

While glossy advertising will always remain in fashion, the current times have made way for authentic storytelling, with brands looking at novel ways to connect with audiences, through a more realistic lens. 

Gucci, for example, brought its designers to the forefront in Alessandro Michele's attempt to overturn the methods by which fashion works, sensationalizing its own designers and finding in them the best interpreters of the brand's aesthetic. Burberry, on the other hand, extolled the human dimension of its team, shooting them in front of the typical London houses also emphasizing the geographical union of its team, directly connected to the English heritage of the brand that is instead re-read in a modern key, extolling the values of diversity and inclusiveness - exaltation that is also the ultimate goal of these campaigns.

Acne Studios has instead chosen to focus on the domestic-emotional dimension evoked by the pairing of dog and owner and unifying the concept visually by setting all the shots in the brand's headquarters in Stockholm – a 1970s brutalist style building, formerly occupied by the Czech Embassy, whose use as a backdrop ideally closes the circle. The implied message is that you don't need particular visual or concept stunts to tell the identity of a brand: all you need is the people who work for that brand (humanized by the presence of their canine companions), wearing the clothes of that brand, in the building that houses the headquarters of that brand.

A feeling summed up perfectly by Alessandro Michele who in his notes at the Gucci Show Epilogue had said: «The clothes will be worn by those who created them. [...] They will seize the poetry they contributed to mould».