February 26, 2020
LVMH-owned Spanish fashion house Loewe wants consumers to speak up in its ongoing advertising campaign featuring outspoken soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
Loewe has previewed images from its fall/winter 2020-21 advertising campaign to coincide with the company’s fashion show. The brand, seeking to gain an edginess, is working with the captain of the U.S. women’s soccer team that won the FIFA World Cup in 2019.
"Megan Rapinoe’s voice and image, in a vibrant and authentic manner both in image and video, serves as a key element to the messaging of the campaign," said Rebecca Miller, principal of Miller&company, New York.
"An accomplished athlete and gay activist, she sees fashion as a way to express herself exactly as she desires," she said. "Different than a team sport, it is about her many facets as an individual, doing it her way communicating change and awareness provoking people to think. An estimable and provocative demonstration of her courage and dedication, she is seen as an athlete who has become culturally significant."
Founded in 1846 in Madrid, Spain, Loewe is one of the oldest luxury fashion brands in the world. The company specializes in leather goods, apparel accessories and perfume.
In recent seasons, Loewe has been revealing its campaigns in line with the corresponding runway show.
This time round, the brand’s fall/winter 2020-21 effort is being launched throughout Paris.
As part of the invite, Loewe created a vinyl LP record of Ms. Rapinoe’s inspirational soundbites, which have been edited over a rhythmic base.
Creative director Jonathan Anderson worked with photographer Steven Meisel and creative studio M/M Paris.
Loewe began working with Ms. Rapinoe in January. Together, they created a series of YouTube videos in which Ms. Rapinoe inspires people to make change in their lives (see story).
The headshot of Ms. Rapinoe is part of a trilogy of shots. Another image shows a trio of female models wearing gowns and clunky shoes next to a transparent piano in a scene set up to look like a fringe theater set.
Rounding out the trio of images is a still life of a Loewe Balloon bag.
"There is nothing more tantalizing and perhaps even evocative about being offered a sneak peek," Ms. Miller said. "The strategy behind dropping new campaign images prior to a full launch is to give visual clues about a new direction the brand may be headed, the design inspiration for the next collection, a social stance it is adopting, the breadth of their audience appeal or one they intend to reach.
"All in all, it announces movement. Energy, the space fashion and trends occupy and hold sacred," she said.
As affluent consumers and the luxury business itself continues to change, these rapid developments pose a challenge to brands with decades of storied history.
Mr. Anderson was brought on board to help create a modern image of the brand, while maintaining its heritage.
Partnering with Ms. Rapinoe offers the brand a modern voice and an edge to appeal to younger affluent consumers.
"The confluence of Loewe’s core values with Megan’s personal achievements and public persona affords the brand an expansive canvas on which to draw out new opportunities in audience development, marketing initiatives, design inspiration, and craft and cultural expansion," Ms. Miller said.
"Megan, serving as their role model, has the capacity to be a spokesperson, encouraging and attracting a younger audience to the brand, while not ignoring their core client base," she said. "Her persona covers a broad set of experiences, age groups, cultures and communities – those that mirror Loewe’s business contextual strategies, to value talent in all walks of life by honoring the traditional while embracing the contemporary."