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September Culture Report

Welcome to the September Culture Report, a sequinned strut down the catwalk of dreams, with brands, fans and humans taking the front row. Editorial team: Nicolas Wheatley, Alice CrossleyCaris DollardFrancesca BriginshawFrank BroughtonIsaac McMorrow

FASHION SUSTAINS

Fashion Week is back in person after its digital hiatus, and with Spring/Summer 2022 collections in full swing there’s a distinct nod to reality and sustainability. In New York the energy was Uptown as Harlem’s Fashion Row presented ‘Renaissance Forever’, which championed designer Charles Harbison Studio’s collaboration with Banana Republic, and Johnathan Hayden’s eco collection that employs ‘user-experience-based design techniques’ to avoid contributing to waste. Gen-Z’s obsession with vintage found expression in the “Club Kid kitchen-sink and thrift-shop DIY” asethetic of Sintra Martins collection, which GQ christened “Depop Couture”.

Sustainability was also key at Fashion Forward Week in Stockholm where House of Dagmar pushed the idea of owning fewer pieces of clothing, and Lazoschmidl brought genderless garments to the fore. Off the catwalk, Vogue focused on fashion editors’ best bits of vintage claiming “buying secondhand has never been so fashionable.” With London Fashion Week upon us next week, let’s hope planet fashion keeps up this more responsible mood. CARIS DOLLARD

CULTURE CAMPAIGNS

For their latest visuals, French running store Distance hijacked new speed cameras in Paris by challenging runners to break the 30mph limit to get caught on film.
DISTANCE – BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT

Subverting the classic fashion caption, this print campaign highlights a pervasive form of coercive behaviour with the phrase “clothes – not model’s own.”
WOMEN’S AID – NOT MODEL’S OWN

This full-length YouTube reality gameshow traps gen-Zs in a rickety house filled with scratchy bedding and terrible furniture, with occasional Ikea treats to relieve the hell.
IKEA SPAIN – TRAPPED IN THE 90s

MUSIC IS OPEN

There are 650,000 young people trapped outside education or employment. Our client TheWRD is at the heart of a campaign to help some of them get their futures back on track, and address the inequalities of access that pervade the creative industries. Music is Open is a campaign driven by a broad-based alliance of music industry bodies, labels and talent, including Celeste, Ivorian Doll, and songwriter Jamie Hartman, who have pledged to create paid internships, placements and mentoring, to encourage disadvantaged young people to see the music indjustry as a career.

CD PLAYAS

More models and influencers are taking on high-profile brand roles in-house with elevated titles to match. Love Island’s Molly Mae became “Creative Director” at Pretty Little Thing, Kendall Jenner is “Creative Director” at online luxury fashion retailer FWRD, and model Bella Hadid is now “Chief Operating Officer” at US drinks company Kin Euphorics. For big names at least, as brands look to attract celebrity followings, it seems we’re upping the stakes from the catch-all “influencer” and the overdone “brand ambassador”. It’s unlikely Mae, Jenner or Hadid will have the day-to-day responsibilities of a traditional creative director, but this trend is more than just a move to supersized vanity titles. Creativity is increasingly sourced from grassroots creators rather than planned in a boardroom. And with their vast reach and expertise at connecting, models and TV stars bring a lot to the table. Just ask Jerry Smith, son-in-law of Rick, father of Morty, who just landed a top CD role at DDB FTW. ALICE CROSSLEY

NO TOURS ON A DEAD PLANET

Massive Attack’s much-discussed Super-Low Carbon Live Music report has given the music industry something to think about, not least suggesting private jets might not be the greenest way to get around. Don’t expect to see superstars on the bus, but good to see entertainment leading the way. Our sister company Paradigm has long had a Green Rider Initiative, offering detailed advice on how to shrink a bands’ footprint, offered to the 1200 artists on its roster.

TIKTOK VS TEXAS

TikTokers have been at the heart of attempts to sabotage Texas’s unconstitutional new anti-abortion legislation, flooding the state’s tip-off website Prolifewhistleblower.com with fake reports including porn, Shrek gifs and memes suggesting Texas governor Greg Abbott is seeking an abortion himself. One TikToker has hijacked the handle Prolifewhistleblower.com to provide advice on safe abortion options.