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In case you missed its spring 2017 show featuring a front row brimming with 25-and-under hot young things, Dolce & Gabbana is gunning for the millennial consumer.
With a motley cast of nine young persons — four celebrity spawn, four Instagram-famous models/”influencers” and one Zendaya — the brand’s new campaign smacks you across the face with the “we want the young consumer” message.
The biggest names of the bunch are Cameron Dallas, 22 — whose seamless transition from Instagram model to Hollywood staple (with his very own Netflix show) is one for the textbooks — and Zendaya, 20, who has drawn millions of followers not just from her Disney Channel show, K.C. Undercover (on which she also serves as a co-producer), and her standout red-carpet style, but also by her eloquent messages of self-acceptance and self-love.
Parked (stiffly) next to Zendaya, the two other female models, Thylane Blondeau, 15, and Sonia Ben Ammar, 17, feel lifeless in front of photographer Franco Pagetti’s lens. (You’ll remember Blondeau as the 10-year-old model at the center of French Vogue‘s Vogue Enfants controversy, in which readers complained that she was portrayed in a “sexy” manner, and Ben Ammar as Brooklyn Beckham’s current rumored flame.) Clearly, the duo is better in front of the iPhone lens — between them, the pair have almost 1 million Instagram followers.
Rounding out the social-media-famous models is Luka Sabbat, 19, an aspiring fashion designer, occasional stylist and avid video gamer with 300,000 followers. Sabbat’s portfolio is heavy on those cool streetwear brands (Public School, Hood by Air and Kanye West’s first Yeezy extravaganza last February). His fashion and social-savvy audience would be a win for Dolce & Gabbana, whose customer skews more traditional.
Names of the remaining models read like a Hollywood yearbook. There’s Cindy Crawford’s son (Presley Gerber, 17), Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s son (Brandon Lee, 20), Jude Law’s son (Rafferty Law, 20) and Daniel Day-Lewis’ son (Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, 21). To be fair, the boys appear to have a bit more pizzazz on camera than either Blondeau or Ben Ammar.
But Dolce & Gabbana’s blind grab for millennial love goes beyond just its campaign and front row. The Italian fashion house has been sending mascot versions of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (based off the sketches from the brand’s 2016 family campaign tees) across the globe — its own version of Coach’s immediately recognizable “Rexy” T. rex mascot or Fendi’s fur Karl Lagerfeld charm — as a branding solution to logo fatigue, which plagued the younger generations in the age of mass knockoffs. The goofy, bespectacled bobble-headed doppelgangers of two old men (tracked with the #DGClone hashtag), however, seem to be taking longer to catch on than other mascots.
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Melvin Van Peebles