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Guerrilla Fashion Week Campaign Calls for an End to Mass Consumption
February 14, 2013
Byronesque, an online vintage retailer, has created a provocative campaign aimed at making New York Fashion Week attendees think twice about purchasing next season’s ‘it’ designs. The "Out of Hand" campaign features quotes from notable celebrities, including late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, about the current state of the fashion industry:
Of course, Curtis wasn’t originally speaking about the fashion industry in the above quote — it’s actually a lift from the band's 1979 song, "Disorder." But placed in the context of New York Fashion Week, the complete line from the song, "It’s getting faster, moving faster now, it’s getting out of hand," perfectly describes Bryonesque’s point of view as a vintage retailer that promotes authenticity and originality over the ‘fast fashion’ that dominates the industry.
The poster with Curtis’ quote, along with posters featuring quotes from Andy Warhol, Johnny Rotten and Vivienne Westwood, are currently plastered around New York City — particularly in high-traffic zones for New York Fashion Week attendees. CEO Gill Linton speaks to Bryonesque’s intentions with the controversial campaign:
"We should take inspiration from the people who did things better the first time around and create something authentically new. Instead, we’re going around in fast creative circles rather than making progress. Fashion week should be a privilege. Only for the most creative, inspired minds. Who push our imaginations and challenge today’s overly commercial fashion mediocrity. #OUTOFHAND is for the fashion troublemakers."
What we found most interesting about the campaign was the inclusion of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. While the quotes from Andy Warhol, Johnny Rotten and Ian Curtis have been repurposed from their original context and intent to fit the campaign, Westwood’s comment seems to be in direct conflict with the very industry she’s a part of — and what Bryonesque’s campaign attacks. At first we thought the quote was ironic, but after reaching out to Linton for an explanation, we learned that Vivienne’s inclusion speaks to her brand’s manifesto — and one that Bryonesque hopes others will adopt as a result of the "Out Of Hand" campaign:
"It’s not ironic when you know her P.O.V. We just interviewed her for a story we’re running in a couple of weeks that looks at her climate change activism and her perspective on fashion, which is that we don’t need so many clothes. She’s a rare and inspiring designer who actually shares our [Bryonesque's] perspective — we love fashion, and if you must buy new clothes, buy well-made items that last.
"Fashion Week is out of hand because there are fewer and fewer designers like her today — people who really create change and challenge the banal side of the industry."
The "Out of Hand" campaign joins Patagonia's "Don't Buy This Jacket" ad and the documentary The Naked Brand in a spate of recent communications demonstrating the power of marketing to promote more conscious consumerism.
This post first appeared on PSFK on February 13, 2013.