Christy Turlington Burns and Karlie Kloss Cover Cole Haan’s Fall … – Forbes
Christy Turlington Burns and Karlie Kloss share many qualities. They are statuesque, attractive, famous, and boast incredible social media followings. They are supermodels after all, and representing an ideal form of beauty is categorically their job. That said, what truly binds them is not their (near-perfect) physical attributes, but what they do behind the scenes, outside the glitzy confines of the fashion industry. Both Burns and Kloss have utilized their platforms to enhance the lives of women across the globe—a characteristic that was central to Cole Haan’s Fall 2017 campaign, aptly titled “Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Stories.”
“‘Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Stories’ explores the meaningful relationship between Christy and Karlie, bound by a shared desire for purposeful change,” said David Maddocks, Cole Haan’s chief marketing officer and general manager of business development. “Each has been inspired to channel the success of their modeling careers to work toward positively impacting women’s lives through their respective initiatives: Kode with Klossy, empowering young women and girls to learn coding and to become leaders in STEM fields; and Every Mother Counts, providing mothers around-the-world access to maternal health care.”
Photographed by Cass Bird and styled by Karla Welch, the series of portraits and video presents Burns and Kloss smiling against a grey backdrop, or reclining on plush chairs. With tussled hair, minimal makeup, and wearing a combination of trousers, knits and overcoats, the duo effortlessly showcases Cole Haan’s new collection of bags and shoes. In the video, they each define the word extraordinary, with both concluding that it stems from an inner strength. The scenes are soft, lighthearted and inviting, yet command attention nonetheless. “It’s feminine and powerful,” described Welch, who was thrilled to be part of the project.
“It’s really about the team,” she said. “We had the most extraordinary dream team on this one—from Karlie and Christy to Cass and everyone at Cole Haan. It really makes my job easy when I get to work with so many talented people. I think the consumer will relate to it as well. There is an authenticity in the storytelling that I feel is quite captivating and inspiring.”
It is an advertisement at the end of the day, and however heartening the message may be, Cole Haan is running a business. Enlisting Burns and Kloss—two of the most in-demand high-fashion models, who also differ in age (Kloss is 25, and Burns is 48)—casts a wide base, while keeping to the posh, aspirational component that has become an industry standard. But this alone is no longer enough anymore. Consumers want to feel connected to the images in a personal way, which is why many have forgone models altogether for Fall 2017, using real people or known personalities instead. Cole Haan has not gone too far off the deep end by using fashion industry stalwarts, but it is playing up the “storytelling” factor that Welch described. Indeed, “Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Stories” gives greater meaning to the images and, consequently, the brand and its products.
“We thought it would be a more interesting conversation to say to our customers: fashion tries to tell us all what we’re supposed to look like, but we’d like to start a dialogue around what we can all be like if we choose to do so,” Maddocks explained. “It’s really about smart fashion—a conversation that is a little less glossy, and a lot more than skin deep.”