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Apparel and accessories

Dior taps YouTube star for feminine, humorous campaign

December 21, 2020

Liza Koshy is the first guest in a new Dior series. Image credit: Dior


French fashion house Dior is the latest luxury brand to utilize influencer marketing to broaden its appeal to millennials and Generation Z, with an advertising campaign that offers a cheeky peak inside the handbag of a YouTube star.

Artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri filmed actor, comedian and YouTuber Liza Koshy backstage at Dior’s fall-winter 2020-2021 show as she offered her audience a look inside her Lady D-Lite bag. Ms. Koshy is the first guest in a new Dior series titled ‘In My Lady…,’ which puts a light and playful spin on the brand.

“It’s always fun to watch or hear people who are not official ambassadors talk about a brand and how it blends in with their life,” said Kimmie Smith, cofounder and creative director of Athleisure Mag, New York. “It’s also fun to see how much can be packed in a Lady D-Lite bag.”

“It’s a personal moment that is fun to share with others as we can all relate to the idea of people seeing what we carry and why.”

Focus on youth culture
During fashion weeks, brands rely heavily on a front row filled with celebrities and industry leaders. When those seats are removed or limited, as they have been during the COVID-19 outbreak, brands must find new ways to leverage those same celebrities and leaders without posing a threat to their health and safety.

The film of Ms. Koshy, which focuses on themes such as autobiography, femininity and self-portrait, represents an attempt by Dior to humanize its collection.

“My relationship with my bag is a little bit like me, a little messy, but practical,” says Ms. Koshy, in the film. “I have a little bit of everything inside of me — mostly crazy, mostly messy.”

Influencers like Ms. Koshy are useful vehicles to humanize a brand

The nearly five minute video opens with Ms. Koshy dressed in a monochromatic blush ensemble greeting fans as she makes her way into the show. She settles into a backstage room, where behind her a neon sign reads "Feminine Beauty" in bright pink block letters.

“I’m going to show you what’s inside my Lady D-Lite purse,” Ms. Koshy says as she opens the elegant bag, on loan from Dior, which retails for $5,700. “Pop goes the rental.”

She pulls out a ring light, a pair of chocolate croissants, pink sunglasses on loan from Ms. Chiuri, a tampon, and an invitation to the show which she humorously struggles to open with her acrylic nails.

“Who licked this envelope? Maria herself?” she asks “That’s some strong spit, honey."

Ms. Koshy draws a bottle of Dior perfume from the bag that her mother used when she was growing up.

“I would always see her spray this on and I thought it was the most fabulous thing in the world because it said Dior on it,” Ms. Koshy says. “Now, I’m here at the show. It’s a full circle.”

Like Christian Dior, who used to travel with wood in his pocket, Ms. Koshy travels around with a bit of palo santo, a South American wood which “brings positivity and goodness” into one’s life, she says.

Reaching out in new ways
A number of brands have been using a new form of influencer relationship to cater to a younger generation, as experiential leanings become more important.

Last year, Louis Vuitton looked to engage consumers by launching a YouTube vertical centered on television-style content.

Fashion insider Karlie Kloss was the special guest at Louis Vuitton’s runway show during Paris Fashion Week, alongside YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlain. The label extended its relationships with the influencers through a series of content following the show, in the hopes of catering to millennials as well as Gen Z consumers (see story).

After the luxury industry took an enormous hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion labels have turned to new ways to share their upcoming collections with media and consumers, one of which is relying on influencers (see story).

“Personalizing a moment and being able to convey that to others is essential to maintain why a brand is relevant,” Ms. Smith said. “Seeing someone wear a brand is nice to see, but as they talk through how they are aligned with it — that’s when the house begins to have another layer added to it to ensure the longevity of what it means when people say that name.”