Why Are Teens Selling You Designer Goods?

August 2, 2011 • Fashion, Fashion Blog

Hailee Steinfeld for Miu Miu


It’s a question that has had me scratching my head and I was afraid I was alone until I saw an article in today’s NY Post addressing the issue that has me seeing red And article entitled The new teen queens: But are they too young for sultry ad campaigns? was spot on. So many of my favorite brands are chosing to use teenagers in the ad campaigns and I find it disturbing. Not because the ads are seductive, but because I can’t relate. Thankfully I am not alone. Do these ad campaigns inspire grown women to wear the same clothes? Not me. In fact I find it a giant turn-off frankly.

You currently have an ad for the Marc by Marc Jacobs clothing line that features 13-year-old actress Elle Fanning. “True Grit” actress Hailee Steinfeld, 14, is the face of Miu Miu’s new campaign. In one photo she sits by a stretch of railroad tracks, wearing high heels while rubbing her eyes like a tired child; in another, she sports a jeweled dress while eating a slice of pizza. Seriously? I loved Miu Miu too! I was one of the brand’s biggest fans.

Meanwhile, Elle’s older sister, 17-year-old Dakota Fanning, is featured in an ad for Marc Jacobs’ new perfume “Oh Lola!” In the picture, she gazes seductively at the camera as she lounges on the floor in a pink dress — with a bottle of the scent held suggestively between her legs.

“The fact that they’re using a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old is very questionable,” says Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, a kids’ and media advocacy group. “Just their ages alone shows poor judgment. It’s the premature oversexualization of young girls.”

I get that teenage girls read Teen Vogue, etc., but seriously? How about those of us who actually have our own money and not Mom and Dad’s to spend on clothes and accessories? Why are we being alienated?

“I’m by no means a pedophile, but there’s a purity to youth,” Jacobs told New York magazine at the time. “All that is more intriguing to me than knowing, headstrong, oozing sexuality.”

Is it really so different than the 1980 Calvin Klein jeans campaign in which a 14 year-old Brooke Shields said seductively: “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” Well, no. In poor taste? Possibly. Out of the norm? Not really. But the question remains: Will a grown woman buy a dress because she sees a teenager wearing it?

“I don’t know if there are many women in their 20s who want to look like, be compared to or dress like a 14-year-old,” says former model Jenna Sauers, “It’s just not a natural link from a customer’s perspective.” I could not agree with a statement more.

Source & Photo: NY Post

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