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Kate Bosworth is the new face of cotton.
This story first appeared in the May 3, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Cotton Incorporated is featuring the actress as its ambassador of cotton in the third installment of “The Fabric of My Life” campaign.
Bosworth, who has starred in films such as “Wonderland,” “Beyond the Sea,” “Superman Returns” and “21,” will showcase her musical talents for the first time in the campaign, which launches on Friday and will run on major networks including ABC, Fox, VH1, MTV and The CW in 15-and 30-second spots.
Ric Hendee, senior vice president of consumer marketing for Cotton Inc., said it is the first time the organization has used a full-fledged actress in the “Fabric of My Life” campaign, an outgrowth of the original “Fabric of Our Lives” campaign from the Nineties, which was highly successful in raising consumer awareness about the integral role cotton plays in everything from towels to denim jeans and high-end fashion.
Cotton Inc. introduced the “Fabric of My Life” campaign in 2009 featuring female musical artists. But it was Zooey Deschanel, who is both a singer and an actress, who helped make the first campaign in 2009 a hit, Hendee said.
Based on that success, Cotton Inc. chose Bosworth, purely an actress, for its new campaign.
“In year three we sought out someone else who had a cinema background and we put the music part behind and focused on more associations with nice clothes and…frankly the editorial side of fashion,” Hendee said. “We were looking for people from the movies who were really seen as young, female fashion leaders and Kate came to the forefront quite quickly with that kind of perspective.”
Cotton Inc. took a chance in casting Bosworth because she does not have a musical background and she would need to sing the theme song in the commercial.
“She was in fact anxious [to sing] and she said this commercial will give her a chance to make her singing debut,” said Hendee.
Cotton Inc., which has budgeted $25 million for the yearlong campaign, has a relationship with Bosworth for a year with the right to extend it, but also plans to add more people to the third campaign during the year, Hendee said. Bosworth was unavailable for comment.
The TV commercial, created by DDB New York and styled by Hollywood fashion stylists Anthony Franco and Cher Coulter, will show Bosworth wearing well-known designer clothes such as Prada, Rodarte and Nina Ricci, as Cotton Inc. continues to focus on portraying cotton as a natural fiber integral to designer apparel but available in a broad range of price points.
The spots will feature vignettes that present Bosworth at work in an “inspiration” room, on a movie set and exploring antique books (said to be her passion), shopping for jewelry and relaxing in cotton. A key component of the campaign is the closet, which will showcase cotton fashion pieces representing her style.
Hendee said Cotton Inc. will augment the TV spots with the rollout of some 24 behind-the-scenes videos on the “fabricofourlives.com” Web site next month, including conversations between Bosworth and Coulter about the clothes in the commercial, how to accessorize them and how to wear them, as well as discussions about broader trends in fashion.
The Web site will also feature an element that allows people to see a range of price points on the cotton items featured in the commercial.
“The idea is you don’t have to spend designer prices to find beautiful things,” Hendee said. “You will be able to click on any one item and be directed to manufacturers’ and retailers’ Web sites if you want to buy it. It’s a nice way to show cotton is [available] in all different price points.”