July 25, 2019
British fashion label Stella McCartney is using its winter 2019 advertising as a call to arms for consumers to tackle the issue of climate change.
Looking to inspire consumers to take a stand, the campaign stars women who are invested in the fight, who give ideas about what can be done to “save the world.” While many of the brand’s marketing efforts center on its sustainable values, this takes it a step further by speaking directly to its audience, looking to sell them on more than just clothes.
"With last month being the hottest June on Earth ever recorded, the Stella McCartney concept-driven campaign could not be more relevant or timely," said Daymon Bruck, CCO/partner of The O Group, New York.
Mr. Bruck is not affiliated with Stella McCartney, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Stella McCartney was reached for comment.
Call to action
Stella McCartney’s campaign, dubbed "Agents of Change," is launching in two phases. This week, the brand premiered its still campaign and a series of videos featuring this season’s models.
Among the cast is model-actor Amber Valletta, who has been outspoken about sustainable fashion.
Also featured are Deya Ward, Ruby Munslow and Tori Tsui, who are members of Extinction Rebellion. Rounding out the ensemble are models Emma Laird, Chloe Pearson, Chu Wong and Trinity Hill, who have been activists for changing their industry.
Shot on the coast of Wales by photographer Johnny Dufort, the campaign shows models standing on a cliff or posing in front of the water.
One shot finds Ms. Valletta hanging out with alpacas while wearing a faux-fur coat. Ms. Valletta also got an earthy makeover, with one campaign shot showing her with a world map painted onto her face.
Stella McCartney's winter 2019 campaign. Image courtesy of Stella McCartney
In another image, a model drapes herself over a life-size version of a globe.
Bringing the idea of protecting the planet to life, Stella McCartney filmed the models sharing their take on the five things that can be done to save the world.
Among the tips are tangible tactics such as swapping to reusable bags, taking public transportation, forgoing paper coffee cups and getting rid of guns. The women also share their ideas for improving the world such as “make love not war” and “be kind.”
"In the first few pieces from 2019 winter campaign we hear models tell us their own five ways to save the world - a clever and inclusive strategy to open up the conversation to everyone without encumbering the brand with the role of moderator," Mr. Bruck said.
Instagram post from Stella McCartney
In September, the brand will be premiering a short film around the campaign. Environmental Jane Goodall voiced the narration for the video, as she recited a poem written for the Stella McCartney campaign by author Jonathan Safran Foer.
"The inclusion of renown environmentalist Jane Goodall to the brand’s latest campaign will not only increase the volume of the campaign’s reach but will also reinforce Stella McCartney's core values and continue to build alignment with like-minded consumers," Mr. Bruck said.
Reflecting the brand’s focus on circular fashion and sustainability, the materials in the winter collection aim to minimize the environmental impact of design. For instance, a dress made out of an archival fabric gives new life to the textile.
There are also organic cotton garments, viscose apparel, Econyl regenerated nylon bags and Alter-Nappa accessories.
As it seeks to spread its message of sustainability, Stella McCartney is linking up with a key player in the luxury business.
Luxury group LVMH and Stella McCartney have reached an agreement in a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Stella McCartney hopes to seek greater development on a global scale with the LVMH partnership. The founding designer will continue to hold the majority ownership of the label as LVMH invests and will also remain in her position as creative director and ambassador.
With this partnership, Ms. McCartney will help LVMH grow its sustainable practices as she takes on a special sustainability advisor role to chief executive Bernard Arnault (see story).
While eco-consciousness has been at the heart of the brand since it was founded in 2001, Stella McCartney has recently used its position and the power of social media to make a difference beyond its own organization.
Earlier this year, Stella McCartney mobilized consumers to bring attention to the at-risk Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia.
In a social media campaign dubbed #ThereSheGrows, the brand invited followers to dedicate a tree to their loved one to plant an actual tree in the forest. Brands often use their reach and their fan base to align with consumers for a common cause, allowing for a connection that extends beyond commerce (see story).
"We have been watching the concept of transformation – personal, communal, local and global – emerge over the past few years as a new progressive paradigm for the modern luxury consumer," The O Group's Mr. Bruck said. "Transformation has replaced experience as the new barometer of status and the new benchmark for perceived luxury value.
"Stella McCartney has been at the forefront of global sustainability practices for the past decade and the brand is an ideal champion for this new transformational economy," he said. "The brand's 2019 winter campaign is a perfect example of messaging and leadership for all luxury and fashion brands that want to stay relevant to a growing audience that puts values and believes first. "