Nordstrom’s New Campaign Features Real, Exceptional People


Normal people are the new normal in fashion imagery. The latest case in point? Nordstrom’s just-released Fall 2017 campaign, which captures a diverse mix of stylish yet relatable artists and creatives. “What’s really resonating with us right now is real people who are doing great and extraordinary things that inspire us in our everyday lives,” said Olivia Kim, Nordstrom’s Vice President of Creative Projects. Kim has directed the retailer’s past five campaigns, and is the curator of SPACE, Nordstrom’s fashion-forward concept store.

The latest project was shot by husband-wife duo Max Farago and Clara Cullen, who respectively photographed and filmed Nordstrom’s cast of genuinely interesting folks including: Hailey Gates, pseudo-intellectual It-girl and host of VICELAND’s States of Undress; MoMA PS1 director Angela Godling; the quartet of classically trained ballerinas behind the Hiplet dance movement; fashion’s favorite model-artist Jane Moseley; Vejas Kruszewski and Saam Emme, the designers behind hip emerging label Vejas (carried by Nordstrom’s SPACE pop-up); and more. Even Farago and Cullen sat for a shot with their family, conveying the intimacy of the series.

The snapshot-like portraits and accompanying short films are relatively simple, with the real-life characters dressed in Fall ’17 pieces they might actually wear IRL. That authenticity makes the whole campaign persuasive to a mass audience that isn’t necessarily familiar with each subject’s finer resume points.

It’s reductive to describe Nordstrom’s group of exceptional individuals with compelling stories as “normal.” “Normal” is more along the lines of Demna Gvasalia scouting local Parisian dads and their kids to walk the Spring ’18 Balenciaga runway show. But Nordstrom’s Fall campaign does point towards a larger trend gaining traction—a movement towards personality-driven casting also exemplified by brands from J. Crew to Helmut Lang. The latter brand recently overhauled its image with a new marketing campaign featuring former porn star Traci Lords, novelist Chris Kraus, cult indie director Larry Clark, and former Hood by Air designer Shayne Oliver, among others.

Our takeaway from the whole personality-driven modeling trend? It’s not enough to be good looking these days. You’ve got to be interesting, too. By the same token—when it comes to casting, at least—you’ve got to be good looking enough to be considered interesting.

For more information on Nordstrom’s Fall 2017 campaign, visit


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