TORONTO — With the U.S. political scene dominated by a string of scandalous leaks, outerwear brand Moose Knuckles is taking note, turning this blur between the real and unreal into inspiration for its spring ad campaign that debuts on the company’s web site today.
“At its very core this campaign is about curated life versus the life people really lead,” said Moose Knuckles Canada’s creative director Steph Hoff.
“But this idea of looking at the duality in peoples’ lives now and how they present one face to the world on Instagram or Snapchat and another behind closed doors was incredibly appealing,” she added.
In Hoff’s view, this darker, more sophisticated effort shot on film and on iPhones marks a new level of maturity for the edgy brand, which launched in 2007 and has since earned a following among Millennials with its premium down-filled coats, leather jackets, artisan-crafted bombers and “in your face” marketing.
Working with French photographer Viktor Vauthier and producer Ryan Willms — the chief executive officer and editor of the now defunct Inventory men’s wear magazine (2009 to 2016) — Hoff cast social media stars directly from Instagram for the campaign, which was shot in the cottage country of Muskoka, Ontario. That roster included Tavia Bonetti, Olivia Pezzente, Gabrielle Cosentino, Junior Vasquez and Logan Trend, each of whom are known in their own right for sexy and slightly scandalous content online.
Outfitted in Moose Knuckles’ spring designs, the social media set sport vests ($185), transparent rain jackets for men and women ($350), and a lightweight summer parka ($595) trimmed with yellow or blue fur — a first for Moose Knuckles designed for cooler nights at the cottage.
A reversible anorak, shorts, T-shirts and swimwear are other items showcased to play up “the new silhouettes and durability of the brand,” according to Hoff.
While the poised images look just like what people would want to share with social media fans, these “perfect” pictures are juxtaposed with racier shots that are stored on phones, shared with friends on Snapchat and leaked from there.
“When you look at these candid images, none of which have been retouched, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the curated lives versus the leaked lives. But that, really, is the point,” said Hoff.
“In a deeper sense this has all left me wondering if leaks today are the new way to create marketing and media buzz in our society,” she added. “Advertising and public relations as it once existed isn’t so clear today. It’s really up to us to wade through it all and discover what’s real or not.”
The new ad campaign comes as the brand pushes into more luxury retailers in the U.S. and Asia; doubles its existing distribution in Europe, and ventures into new markets like Italy and Germany in 2017. One of its major openings will be with Intermix in the U.S., which is also slated for 2017.