Brand: Club Monaco
Creative Director: Ruth Ansel
Oh, great. The mid-nineties are back already? That’s the implication of Club Monaco’s new ad campaign, a multi-page magazine insert and mailer featuring the stark black-and-white photography of Richard Avedon. You know the drill: full-body shots of world-weary models mugging against a blinding white background – more than slightly reminiscent of Calvin Klein’s 1995 ads featuring full-body shots of world-weary models mugging against a blinding white background, also photographed by Avedon. All the usual suspects are here: the shirtless, waifish Adonis, the emaciated glamour-puss, the slouchy I’m so handsome I don’t need to shower chump who wears his jeans like a second-grader. Half a decade ago, when he did this shtick for Calvin, Avedon startled us with his relaxed vision of unvarnished, unconventional beauty. Now he presents varnished, conventional beauties looking utterly stiff and synthetic. On the heels of Club Monaco’s recent troubles – new owner Ralph Lauren just told founder and CEO Joseph Mimran to take a walk after falling sales – the Toronto-based clothier surely doesn’t want to look this derivative. Too bad Ralph didn’t also tell these models to take a walk. Somebody forgot to tell Avedon that in the Fast Company economy, even scruffy slackers and trust-fund babies have gotten jobs. Nobody just loiters anymore. What are these people waiting around for, anyway? A Whit Stillman casting call?