And now for something refreshingly different. JC Jeans Company announced Erika Linder would star in its latest campaign for its Crocker line, and that her male counterpart in the campaign would be… Erika Linder. That's right: The model plays the male and female role in the gender-bending Spring 2014 spread for the Swedish-based company, according to Bust.
Linder broods in Crocker men’s and women’s clothing, accompanied by the tagline, “Come as you are/Whatever you are.” The images — and the accompanying video — of Linder are remarkable, and a welcome sight in an industry trending more and more towards androgyny, and more and more away from pigeonholing its models into gender stereotypes. And it seems JC Jeans Company recognizes that. Said the brand about the new campaign on its website:
The Erika Linder for Crocker SS14 campaign introduces a new era for the JC Jeans Company and Crocker Jeans. By starring Erika as the model for both male and female styles, we want this collection to inspire creativity and confidence as we set out to break new boundaries within the fashion industry.
The statement-making photo spread is the first of its kind for JC Jeans Company, but does not mark the first time Linder has crossed gender lines for fashion. She is one of a handful of female models making a living modeling men’s clothing.
Though Linder has rocked many a menswear campaign and even shared the spotlight with androgynous model king Andrej Pejic, her recent outing, as her own partner, is on another level. Said the model in an interview on JC Jeans Company's website:
But for me to model as both man and woman in the same campaign is completely new to me, so I can understand why it gets a lot of attention, and I think it is really good. I’ve received letters from 10-year-old guys who’ve seen the campaign and wishing me good luck. It is very touching that a fashion campaign can affect someone that much.
Here's hoping JC Jeans Company's campaign inspires more like it, especially considering the prevalence of androgynous models (like Pejic, pictured below, left) and the popularity of the unisex look as a whole has only grown in the last five seasons – plenty of time for a trend to fall out of favor.
Indeed, it seems androgyny is hardly a fad in the fashion industry. Instead, its popularity could be attributed to the growing acknowledgement and appreciation for alternative forms. After all, the issues of race, ethnicity, and dress size are no longer a determining factor in fashion — maybe now gender is taking a back seat as well. Let's hope it stays there for good.