Why pick an extremely young girl as an ad face?

Discussion in 'Fashion... In Depth' started by balmain1914, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. balmain1914

    balmain1914 Well-Known Member

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    Hey all TFS members. We all have passion for Fashion, that is exact reason why we gather here. However, sometimes I am pretty confused by some casting decisions, esp in ad campaigns.

    Who buy luxury goods? As I know most of customers are middle aged with a steady job position, and we also know that not every single girl (in reality) is Blair W. of GG. But Fashion labels seem to be so obsessed with picking up an extremely young face for its own seasonal campaigns. Can you imagine a 15-year-old head off to the Oscar/Hermes/YSL boutiques to buy her daily wear? Yes, some girls can afford it but they don't represent the major.

    I do wanna question, does this young girl on the ad can truly represent the value of your label? Even they don't even have too much experience in life. To put all these high fashion stuffs on a teenage girl's body and ask her to pose as sexy, seductive and sophisticated as the way that stylist/photographer/designer want? I don't think that's an excellent choice.
     
  2. purplethistle

    purplethistle New Member

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    When it comes to make-up, glasses/sunnies I don't really care how old the model is. They just have to have a face that wears that make-up/eyewear well. Facial creams, masks etc. Probably an older model again would be better. Since 15 year olds probably don't need anti-wrinkle creams, I would certainly hope not:lol:

    I think when it comes to big pieces eg. clothing, handbags I definitely would want to see a mature looking woman that still fits the aesthetics of the brand. I don't mind them being a few years younger than the people who really buy them as it creates the illusion to some extent that you could look younger, but only to some extent.

    But some brands are really targeted at younger people. But not entirely sure if the prices are always friendly to that market.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is if it a brand that sells items that are way beyond what a person in their twenties working either part time or their very first professional job at the lowest rank, then having girls and not women in the campaign is a bit strange. But small luxury items it doesn't matter so much.
     
  3. Urban Stylin

    Urban Stylin ɐʎ ʎǝɥ

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    I guess it depends on the individual model and their versatility some models might be 15 but can photograph older whereas others might be 19 or 20 but stil look pre teen
     
  4. iluvjeisa

    iluvjeisa clever ain't wise

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    First, it's the thrill of the new in general. Second, it's the next big thing. Third, it's the allure of the unknown. Fourth, young models are not as bored and generally people's faces are more plastic when they are younger. And, of course, young models haven't stopped growing so their limbs appear impossibly long in photographs, something that was accomplished through no other means than just growing - so no runny, red noses, not strange veins, no greyish skin, no profuse sweating, no puking, no dehydration, no bags under the eyes....just a fresh young thing.
     
  5. LeBonChic

    LeBonChic New Member

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    I think the ad isnt necessarily targeted to middle-aged or wealthy customers because if they decide to choose sth from the brand, they will have their shoppers do it, or look up the lookbook or youtube for the show. The ad is just inadequate. Second I think the designers expect more than selling things, they want to convey their stories, express the concept, no ?

    And models are about the look ^^. Aged customers dont care about the models' age and if some do, I think they have enough time to wander youtube and photos.
     
  6. seguilamoda

    seguilamoda New Member

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    mmm I think it also may have to do with the ideal of feeling younger when you wear a product. I mean it may be also due to the fact that middle aged women want to feel younger, eg. they see the jewelry ad with a very young girl on it and think mmmh I might look like that if I wear. My mom certainly does it.

    But of course, not every women are alike. Some might feel excluded too.
     
  7. ChristianThomas

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    It's about selling the fantasy of the luxury and image of the brand, not properly portraying the customer.

    Young girls are the beauty ideal nowadays, young, fresh and hardly much shape.. just like in the 50's the more mature curvy women were an ideal and at one point Twiggy was.
    They don't portray the customer, they portray the way they want you to feel in their clothing. That perfect girl is wearing it, you can get a little bit of that look too! buy me!
     
  8. neonpeg

    neonpeg New Member

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    I think it's been influenced from the catwalks & the media. With everyone getting obsessed with youth & thinness, these things are both meant to be personified by models as the 'peak' of what humans are aesthetically. As these are the models that high end brands are told they need to put on the runway (models have always been younger...) they want to use them in their campaigns as well, because they think this fits in more with the images related to high fashion in magazines & on the catwalk.

    At the end of the day, the advertising is for people that won't just buy the product because they have done for years or because of the quality. It's for people who may otherwise buy cheaper or from another high end brand. & these are the people (rather than the middle aged rich women) who look at the advertising & they're also more likely to be affected by the images of younger models.
     
  9. SugarMe

    SugarMe Active Member

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    What with the creepy wonders of technology and photoshopping, I'm not sure that this would is an issue. All that can be taken care of in post-production. And even young people have imperfect skin, bags under the eyes, etc., which will all be done away with anyway.

    Personally I have little interest in seeing a 15 year old sell clothes that are meant for someone twice as old, but the illusion of a certain age can be remedied through styling, makeup and lighting to make someone appear older. Which leads me to question why those involved would hire a teenager when she is simply going to be made up to look like someone older.
     
  10. TianSoFine

    TianSoFine Active Member

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    I'm not saying I completely support this idea 100%, but here is how I would put it:

    A lot of high fashion labels are designed for older customers (by that I don't mean actually old, but in their middle years and older) so the clothing has to be designed to look a bit older so that they'll suit the customer and their image/purpose. Having a younger model on a poster shows youthfulness as well, so a buyer might feel that although the clothing suits their age, it can still allow them to not look old.

    Secondly, the world of fashion and luxury goods is about "fantasy", as many have said in the past. Buyers can be drawn to the image of youth, which shows "freshness". I suppose it's similar to the concept of using skinnier-than-average models.
     
  11. iluvjeisa

    iluvjeisa clever ain't wise

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    Photoshop doesn't work so well on the runway - yet - and since the 70s people seem to want to have the same models on the runway and in print.
     
  12. ChristianThomas

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    I don't think models are made to appear much older, perhaps a bit more mature but that's it.

    Even if you'd take a beautiful model of the customers-base age, do you think the customers will think 'oh I want to look just like that woman that's about my age?'.. People are way too self-conscious for that. Reality doesn't sell.
    It would be like using a person with actual wrinkles for an anti-aging cream.
     
  13. anonymouschic

    anonymouschic New Member

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    I think that's a great point on consistency. People often translate and remember what they see in print ads or on the runway and in keeping them the same the brand achieves delivering a consistent and memorable message about the style they're aiming to achieve. The fact that brands are conscious of that speaks a lot to the cohesiveness of their marketing and presentation (which seems like a no-brainer considering it's fashion).

    Where it becomes too much is when the model (regardless of their actual age) appears too young for the product they are trying to promote. In using younger models you do face the possiblity of alienating your target market, making consumers feel awkward about the ads - which is really not a position you want them in when they're shopping. It's a fine line between having the model appear or actually be too child-like in the ads (I keep getting flashbacks of the Dakota Fanning Marc Jacobs series) to a point where it can verge on being inappropriate.
     
  14. iluvjeisa

    iluvjeisa clever ain't wise

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    I wonder if we have not reached the point where a bit of reality will do wonders.
     
  15. Fabulyss

    Fabulyss Active Member

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    In terms of high fashion advertisements: Luxury is not just about those who can afford it. It's about striving for a certain lifestyle that most will never have. This is how materialism works.

    The reality is, most of those that can afford luxury goods have been working for years and are at an executive level and probably middle aged. An ad with a couture clad 15 year old might convince a younger person think 'I could have that now, not 20 years from now'.

    Also, younger people are more likely to experiment with fashion whereas an older model may look out of place in an avant-garde outfit.
     
  16. agee

    agee Active Member

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    I think the key word in the post title is "extremely." Models have always been young and significantly younger than the buyers of the products they represented so that is nothing new. I think there is a difference between having a model who is young fronting a campaign and a model who looks young. I remember coming across an interview that I think was from the supermodel era give or take a few years - a comment was made that designers (and presumably editors) want models who are seventeen chronologically but who can look twenty-seven after she has been styled and glammed, I think that is the longer-term view of models.

    However, that particular view of models was turned upside down when the baby doll look came into vogue, then a model who was sixteen and looked sixteen became in demand and that made sense when the clothes and the editorial themes aligned with that look. Now that the baby doll looks and themes are passe I think that it is taking the fashion world time to adjust its thinking to the new normal which is really the old normal. Also, I think that there is a lot of noise in the system, like it is not unprecedented for a very young model (15-18 range) to be an It Girl and score the high profile gigs, but they were the exception and not the rule. Nowadays, it's like "well Jac and Karlie are two of the hottest models and we have to fill our boards, runways and pages with models of that same profile." I think that today agents associate freshness and discovering a new face with plucking a girl out of the mall or off the tundra and immediately putting her on a plane to Milan. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that the Joan Smalls situation is more representative of how it used to happen. Yeah she may have started modeling as a teenager but she made her bones doing catalogs, and low profile shows and print work, so when she was cast in the Givenchy show it was still considered as a discovery of a fresh new face. To me Joan Smalls story more closely parallels how models were discovered in previous eras (again correct me if I am wrong), it's not this 0 to Milan in sixty seconds thing that we have going on now for entire groups of models.

    Getting back to the original question, while I agree that most industrialized cultures are youth obsessed, I just can't bring myself to believe that women in their thirties and forties want to look like they are seventeen, twenty-seven yes, but not seventeen. When I think high profile campaigns from recent seasons, I don't think that they were littered with models who looked like they are fifteen - to me Jac did not look fifteen in the Calvin Klein ads, Karlie doesn't look seventeen in the Dior ads. However, Karlie looked sixteen-ish in the Hermes campaign and even though her face was mostly obscured, Rasa definitely looked like a young 'un in the SS2010 Prada ads, I mean the pigtails were a pretty big clue. Still in the Hermes and Prada situations, the model's youth fit the theme. Another element of noise with this issue is that brands like DKNY, Blu-Girl, Miu Miu and Marc by Marc Jacobs target people in their teens and twenties so a youthful theme and cast makes sense.

    I think the real mistake being made by designers and photographers in thoughtlessly looking to the pool of fresh, usually teen, faces for campaign casting is not necessarily looking the part physically but it is more about these newbies' skills as models and their presence. Does a model who is still in high school have the drawing power to make someone stop flipping through the magazine to examine an ad? Most likely no, IMO. Now I will throw in a caveat, sometimes the styling, set up and photography is enough to draw you in and model skill and presence or lack thereof is not a barrier to the campaign being effective, Prada SS2010 with Rasa is an example of this. While I liked the Prada SS2010 collection, I question why a designer who has a youth brand (Miu Miu) would even choose to slot those designs in her mainline. As I said previously the model casting made sense in that case, but it should be noted that the following season Miuccia was extolling the virtues of grown women.
     
  17. fashionista-ta

    fashionista-ta Well-Known Member

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    Stella Tenant is still doing runway and she's, what, 46, 47?

    It's a good point the OP makes ... I find myself mystified by the ads even for brands I like ... Bottega's ads used to be better, but recently they've been featuring slackers ... :huh: And Marc Jacobs, good Lord ... I used to like his ads, but now they have models rising out of blow-up toilets, and Vicks Beckham in a shopping bag ... Lanvin ads have a strong tendency to be garish--I always assumed the idea was to make a very minimal ad buy as memorable as possible.

    If I were designing a Lanvin campaign, I would put teddy bear Alber in the ads ...

    Who these ads are really meant for, and who finds them pleasing, is a good question.

    Campaigns for brands I don't like--such as Diesel's recent 'stupid' campaign--are even more ... what is the word I'm looking for :innocent:

    The Hermes campaign Gemma Ward did I liked ... at that point she was so young she was very blank, and I guess you can project anything you want onto a blank space.
     
  18. Fabulyss

    Fabulyss Active Member

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    Owch. According to wiki she's 40 :ninja:
     
  19. fashionista-ta

    fashionista-ta Well-Known Member

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    ^ I believe that age has been 'adjusted.' I just read this in a magazine, and I remember it fairly distinctly in relation to my own age :wink:
     
  20. lucy92

    lucy92 Mod Squad Team Leader

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    revlon started picking extremely young child models as the faces of their "most unforgettable women..." campaign in the 80's. was it avedon's intention? i am not sure.

    milla jovovich was 13 when this ad appeared i think. Tara D’Ambrosio was apparently 5 or 6 when this ad was shot.

    in today's 24 hour news cycle i think a move like would be heavily criticized.

    superqueen.wordpress.com
     

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