Jeans are the foundation of most people's wardrobes; without them we’d be lost. Think of your circle of friends, do any of them get by without a favourite pair of jeans? It doesn’t happen. Our latest collaboration with clothing label G-Star echoes this feeling. The message being, that jeans should not be subjected to any one style, shape, colour or creed.
Drawing from the nature of this brief, G-Star’s collaboration with Whalar manifests itself within empowerment and inspiration. Split into two campaigns’ – RAW Staq and RAW Shape – its division only fuels the impact and individuality within each piece of content our influencers produced.
For ‘Raw Shape’, the brief was invested in embracing each individual figure. Through ridding ourselves of the infamous ‘Gap in the Back’, we eliminate the boundaries set by traditional sizing and style. For the male audience, by prioritising rebellious influencers who can’t stay in one place, the ‘Raw Staq’ campaign evoked the versatility of the brands message.
The influencers we contacted projected the importance of nourishing their independent image, whilst maintaining the empowerment of working with major labels. Maintaining originality, and that distinguishable quality which attracted their primary following, is a precise art in this industry. This balance was resonated through the borderless nature of this collaboration, meaning the marketability is located in lifestyle choice, rather than just a new pair of jeans. Those who worked with us on ‘Raw Shape’ exemplify this message. Our discussion with @sophiemay provoked an articulate response - both on her image and the importance of truthfulness within her industry - stimulated by her work on the collaboration.
Every piece of content you produce is refreshingly unique, how important is maintaining this when working with major brands?
Well to be honest this isn’t always easy. I get into discussions with brands a lot about how ads should be portrayed. I want it to look as natural as possible, and not too much as simple ‘product placement’. The vibe people get from a picture is most important to me, because I think if people like a certain vibe, they will be way more interested in the products I'm wearing. So as for maintaining my own style, this means everything, because after all this is why people follow me in the first place.
Jeans represent the foundation of most people’s wardrobe. What are your thoughts on G-Star RAW Shape’s latest campaign and their efforts to endorse the beautiful diversity of all shapes and sizes?
I really enjoy the fact that they asked influencers who all have different bodies to showcase this. Especially in the field of a social media, like Instagram, everything is just so extremely perfect. I get worried about that sometimes. Instagram didn’t exist when I hit puberty. If I had to grow up in this time, with social media surrounding me, I’m not sure what that would have done to my self image. I’d probably gotten really insecure. I think campaigns like these really help portraying reality, instead of just one body type. And I really loved being part of that!
What do you value more in jeans – comfort, or a bold statement?
Comfort over everything. I mean I love making a statement, but if the denim doesn’t feel comfy, I would probably just wear it once or twice. That’s not only bad for the environment, but also a waste of money. My favourite pair of jeans are the ones I have had for ages! Also, I live in Amsterdam, which means biking or walking to everything! It needs to feel comfortable in order to do that.
We love Sophie’s look, and how positively she reflects on her work on this collaboration. Equally shown was the showcasing of original style within the male influencers within #dstaq campaign. Speaking to influencers such as Denny Balmaceda, who evokes the defiant nature of this campaign, as well as discussing the motivation behind his unbelievably varied (just take one glance at his feed) and diverse looks.
When working with brands, how important is showcasing your own look and lifestyle, as well as endorsing a label
I think it’s very important showcasing your own personal style. I honestly just work with brands that I think will fit my brand and I know will wear on a daily basis. I wouldn’t promote something I don’t believe in.
Your love of music is a big part of the inspiration behind the content you produce, what other key factors influencer your style?
Oh, definitely movies! Most of my looks are inspired by movie characters and I put my own spin on it! I take photos like it’s a movie scene. Scenes to be seen, as I say.
What do you value more in jeans – versatility, or a bold statement?
A bit of both but if I had to choose then definitely versatility. I’d want to be comfortable first. All the time.
In terms of style, look no further than @hank_ge’s feed. Currently living in Bali, the versatility of his look is distilled in his undeniably cool, effortless style. And, although I’ve often questioned the role of the man-bun within our society, Hank’s ability to pull it off his definitely beginning to sway by views… Regardless, after reaching out to him, he expressed his interest in maintaining his look for an audience that value originality.
When working with brands, how important is illustrating your own look and lifestyle, as well as endorsing a label?
It is very important to me as I see myself as a content creator and someone who’s got an audience I’m responsible for. As an underpinning principle, you should always remain authentic and genuine.
Is there any one factor you draw inspiration from when producing a piece of content?
Mostly from other Instagrammers, social media provides such a universal and entirely accessible platform for creativity. I also use Pinterest quite a lot for ideas.
As your content demonstrates, jeans provide a platform for versatility to your wardrobe. What would you say is key to taking ownership over such an important and universal piece of clothing?
Jeans have been a key piece for decades and will be forever. Don’t follow trends but stick to your one style and get inspired.
As Hank exudes the independent and rebellious nature of G-Star’s image, @serrabellum’s look matches and evolves this message for the ‘RAW Shape’ campaign. Clearly refusing to be categorised to any one look or style, the content she produced was of an equally bold nature.
Speaking to Theo Carow, he underpins the importance of echoing that free lifestyle choice (and more fantastic hair) that G-Star were always hoping to create. As well as verbalizing his beliefs behind his content, his feed alone projects that classically Californian, loose and varied lifestyle. This enviable quality is what makes Theo so attractive to brands, as shown in his content and answers to our questions bellow.
We loved the free-spirited nature of your work. When working with brands, how important is maintaining your own identity as well as endorsing a label?
Thank you very much! This is a really good question. I think it's all about maintaining my own identity, otherwise brands wouldn't book me, they'd book a billboard. It's all about my creativity and what I as a content creator stand for. For me that's sustainability, veganism and leaving this world a better place than we found it! So if G-Star, wouldn't have invested in many sustainable projects, I would've just nicely declined.
What would you say is the key ingredient is behind each piece of content you produce?
Story - whether it's a content creator on YouTube or Instagram, whether it's a painter, a musician. It's all about a good story, everyone can stand in front of a white wall and make a pose.
Style, or comfort?
I reaaaaally like comfy jeans tbh.
Comfort or style? Versatility, or a single bold statement? Ultimately, style should always be defined by your individuality. Our aim is to continue to fuel these aspects of empowerment within our collaborative work with G-Star - personified by the ongoing enthusiastic and varied content conceived out of this campaign.
Who was your favourite creator on this collaboration? Do you think we left anyone out? Let us know in the comment section bellow or via our social channels.
Banner Image by @lovefola.
Words by Will Rix.