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Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Fashion Ups the Sex Factor—J.W.Anderson on Grindr Was Just the Beginning
Spring intimates campaign, you might very well have to head to the
site. The brand, led by creative director Nicola Formichetti, is
planning to place its underwear ads, starring models Grace Mahary
and Trevor Signorino, on Grindr, and Tinder. (The
brand’s other ad imagery stars Joe Jonas and Kiko Mizuhara, along with a
slew of other models, and will not appear on the aforementioned sites
“To launch our new underwear is like . . . hello!” Formichetti told Dazed.
“At Diesel, we want to talk about things that not everyone else is
talking about—I like that we get to do that.
Sexuality is still a taboo
in today’s world . . . We all go on websites like Grindr, you know?”
Formichetti isn’t wrong about the allure of sex.
Diesel’s decision to partner with dating apps and porn sites is just the
latest in a string of high-fashion brands embracing sexualized
marketing. In the summer, Calvin Klein Jeans announced an ad campaign on
Tinder featuring models in various states of undress accompanied by
imagined sexts along the lines of “Hahah, a light threesome never hurt
Earlier this week, J.W.Anderson streamed its Fall 2016 menswear show exclusively on Grindr. As unsexy as Jonathan Anderson’s
clothing can tend to be—is that a snail on your pants or are you just
excited to see me?—the partnership drew viewership in the hundreds of
“I think fashion is a sexy platform as well, ultimately,” Anderson told The New York Times
of the decision to partner with the app. “We’re all humans, so we all
have to be somewhat sexually attractive to someone. That’s the name of
the game, with clothing.”
These sex-centric campaigns are in line with the return of provocation on the runways. Pieces like Anthony Vaccarello’s super-slit skirts, Saint Laurent’s see-through slips, and Alexander Wang’s pole-dancer prints arrive after a period of almost prudish fashion. (Show me a garment less sexy than Céline’s much-copied clergywear of Spring 2011 or
In fact, not since the days of Tom Ford’s X-rated Gucci ads and McQueen’s Bumster trousers in the ’90s has fashion been so openly sexy or sexualized. Today, a sheer dress—or even no top at all, ahem, Jacquemus—barely registers, and following Rick Owens’s bold display of male genitalia for Fall 2015, it seems there’s no area of the human form too taboo
to show off on the runway.
This embrace of sexuality—and ideas that go with it, like gender
fluidity—can be read as a good thing for fashion writ large, but it
comes with its fair share of issues.
Discussing J.W.Anderson’s show, the
Times reported rumors of modeling agencies hesitant to send
models to appear in the show because of the salacious nature of its
live-stream host site. What’s more, the sites in question are visited
predominantly by men.
Whether other brands will choose to advertise in X-rated places is
yet to be seen, but if the number of users and rate of engagement
continues to rise, it seems likely to occur. Consider this just another
topic to add to your list of daily fashion conversations, and one much
steamier than speculating who will get that Dior job.