In the digital age, seasonal ad campaigns are much more than pretty photos printed between the sections of our favorite glossies. They're teased online, are accompanied by social media pushes, have entire blog posts dedicated to them and are released with the fanfare of a major magazine feature. Designers hire the industry's best stylists, photographers and, in many cases, celebrities, in hopes that their campaigns will go "viral." With hundreds of brands competing for attention, it's much harder to capture ours, and the designer who really drew us in this season was Alexander Wang.
Taking a humorous approach to his '90s nostalgia-inspired collection, Wang's spring 2014 campaign -- which was just released in full -- features model Anna Ewers in a bathroom looking generally bored, literally too cool for school. Shot by Steven Klein and styled by Karl Templer, the images recall that high school cliché of the popular girls skipping class to gossip and smoke cigarettes in the stalls: Think the Pink Ladies in "Grease," Rayanne Graff in "My So-Called Life" and Courtney Shayne's posse in "Jawbreaker." Sure, Ewers looks pretty, but there's also a slight grittiness to her. She's lying on the public bathroom floor, subconsciously communicating that the Wang girl does not give a f-ck.
In January, Wang told WWD, “Since the spring-summer 2014 collection plays on the duality of naïveté and perverse explicitness in youth culture, we wanted to shoot the campaign in a very familiar environment most people grow up reminiscing about." While Wang's cheeky images are still within the bounds of a traditional ad campaign (with a tight focus on the most commercial looks and accessories from the collection) they're still interesting and provocative. We're left thinking about the story behind the girl in the cool clothes inexplicably hanging out in a (not terribly clean) bathroom, and we kind of wish we were right there with her.
A significant element in Wang's commercial success is his innate "cool" factor: His look is youthful, unfussy and sexy, but not overtly so. Plus, "It" girl types flocked to him for their off-duty looks from the beginning. What he's selling -- not just the clothes, but the attitude that goes along with them -- we want to buy. And isn't that the true measure of success in any ad campaign?
Click through to see all of the spring 2014 images.