With gender fluidity having been a key discussion throughout 2015, it comes as little surprise that Jaden Smith is in Louis Vuitton's SS16 womenswear campaign, as reported by i-D Magazine. The announcement came on Jan. 2, when fashion designer and current Creative Director of the fashion house Nicolas Ghesquière released images of Smith on his personal Instagram account.
We first saw a solo shot of Smith captioned, "Happy to introduce Jaden Smith in the new SS16 [Louis Vuitton] ad Campaign photographed by Bruce Weber." It was quickly followed with a group shot of the 17-year-old with the other models featured in the campaign, including Sarah Brannon, Rianne Van Rompaey, and Jean Campbell. The youthful and beautiful group was shot in front of an industrial-looking building with a classic red brick look, beautifully contrasting with the gorgeous black and white designs Louis Vuitton was showcasing from its spring/summer '16 collection.
Combined with last week's announcement of Final Fantasy's Lightning being cast for Louis Vuitton's spring advertising campaign, it seems the brand is very conscious of marketing itself to a new audience and opening itself up to diversity in a bold and innovative way. Using a famous face like Jaden Smith — whose sister, Willow Smith, has coincidentally just been signed to The Society Management modeling agency — makes for a powerful statement regarding the need to remove gender from fashion.
However, Smith's foray into wearing womenswear isn't an entirely new or shocking move from the Smith family's eldest child. In fact, it seems more of a continuation of his own exploration into his personal style. The teen is famous for his out-there views — remember the time he declared time was a concept in an interview with Willow for The New York Times? — so the concept of only certain clothes being for certain genders is clearly beneath this philosophical star.
On at least two other occasions, Smith has been seen rocking a dress in public, including for prom, always appearing elated with the freedom rather than worrying about what others might think. That, in my opinion, makes him a perfect face for a womenswear campaign.
By combining his dress-wearing with such a massive fashion giant like Louis Vuitton, the duo is proving that genderless fashion is the way forward — and not just for those who adhere to androgynous styles. We need to move into a world where a man wearing a dress can still be seen as a "masculine" aesthetic. Although this is a womenswear campaign, Smith is clearly rocking the dress in his own unique way — and undoubtedly inspiring other men and masculine individuals to do the same.
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