Pepe Jeans, a division of the Spanish group AWWG, today will unveil phase one of a two-year collaboration with the eldest son of Victoria and David Beckham, a photographer who counts 12.2 million Instagram followers, and who’s set to marry the American actress Nicola Peltz.
Beckham, who is the photographer and creative director behind the Wiser Future campaign, has snapped himself wearing Pepe denim at the beach.
The campaign also features a video made separately by the Los Angeles-based photographer and director Zhamak Fullad. The video plays with reflections created by frameless mirrors in various environments.
In an interview via email, Marcella Wartenbergh, chief executive officer of Pepe, and a former Calvin Klein and Calvin Klein Europe executive, said the campaign was “just the first chapter of what we are confident will be a fruitful and exciting two-year partnership between Brooklyn and Pepe Jeans London.”
Wartenbergh said that when Pepe Jeans and Beckham started talking, “Brooklyn was interested in authentically expressing his photography creativity, and his interest for sustainability. Our vision and priorities were aligned from the beginning, so the partnership developed quite organically.
“Brooklyn is a true and relevant icon of his generation. For this collaboration, we seek to leverage the heritage of Pepe Jeans London with the fresh and modern approach adopted by Brooklyn’s creative endeavors focused on photography.”
In the campaign, Beckham has taken pictures of himself by the ocean, with help from a frameless mirror. He is wearing pieces from Pepe’s collection that were made using the trademarked Wiser Wash process.
Beckham said the campaign is about “trying to bring attention to the precious commodity that water is. It is the most precious element we have along with the air we breathe, isn’t it? At the same time, we wanted to show the progress [Pepe] has made in figuring out how to use very little water, and almost half the amount of energy for the production of denim.”
Wiser Wash is a technology that substantially reduces the amount of water used in denim production, according to Pepe. It uses one cup of water for de-coloring a pair of jeans, versus 16 liters for a traditional wash. No toxic chemicals are involved in the process.
Beckham also offered up his own tips for conserving water, including “turn it off while you brush your teeth, measure your water for tea before you heat it up,” and turn off the taps “while you are washing up in the shower. Do not let it run.”
The campaign images, social-first videos, and behind-the-scenes content will continue to roll out across Pepe Jeans London’s social channels and media partners, from Monday until Earth Day on April 22.
Wartenbergh said Pepe began working with Wiser Wash technology in 2018, “and our goal is that, by 2022, one of every three jeans in our Pepe Jeans London collections will be sold as Wiser Wash. At AWWG, we’re very excited to be part of such a revolutionary process for our industry and our planet.”
She added that the group as a whole is “constantly looking for ways to improve sustainability across all our business activities, whether that be in design, production, supply chain or in retail stores. We are working very hard with all the teams to establish 2025 objectives that are real, and achievable. We want goals that we are able to deliver and grow.”
AWWG, she said, will be launching sustainability platforms across all of its brands, and there will be more initiatives to come ahead of Earth Day.
AWWG was founded in 2006 by the Spanish businessman Carlos Ortega, and its stable of brands includes Hackett and Façonnable. The group, formerly known as Pepe Jeans, is based between Barcelona and Madrid.
Asked about the impact of COVID-19 on business, Wartenbergh said that with stores closed, the company saw a 200 percent spike in e-commerce sales. AWWG has 238 owned stores, a presence in 54 countries and 2,800 employees.
She added that digital engagement is now a priority.
“Consumers want a different relationship with brands nowadays, and we are now truly connecting with them via social media and digital channels. Social media is the most inspiring way to connect with consumers, not just by posting, but via real engagement. We’re investing a lot of resources, financial and non-financial,” in connecting with customers online.
Wartenbergh said that, over the last 12 months, the company has shifted 85 percent of its marketing strategies to be digital-first through a whole host of different channels.