Some people slavishly follow fashion. Others develop their own style. Individualists are not always appreciated. Except by fashion label, Zalando.
Parisians who have had their fashion sense insulted are being invited by Zalando to punch through posters to stand up for themselves.
The posters, on bus shelters in the Rivoli, Opéra, Haussmann, Montparnasse, Odéon and St Lazare districts of Paris, are emblazoned with stereotypical put-downs used to make people feel bad about what they wear, such as Sinon, ils font la même à ta taille [Do they make that in your size?] and C’est pas de ton âge de porter ça! [You’re too old to wear that!]
The stunt by We Are Social is part of Zalando’s #FreeToBe campaign, which aims to get people to fight back and free themselves from preconceived notions of how they should or shouldn’t dress and, ultimately, to wear whatever they want with confidence.
Behind the posters is an item of clothing likely to invite put-downs or be deemed a controversial style choice. The member of the public who destroys the poster is urged to take the garment, wear it and defend a more inclusive view of fashion that allows people the freedom to dress in any style they want.
The stunt launched this week and runs for three days until Saturday, November 2. The JC Decaux bus shelter panels containing the posters will be replaced and the clothes restocked several times each day to allow as many people as possible to express their style.
Other insults featured on the posters include T’as perdu combien de paris pour porter ça? [How many bets did you lose to have to wear that?] and T’as mis ton pyjama aujourd’hui ou quoi? [Did you put your pyjamas on today or what?]
The stunt is supported by billboard ads and a social media campaign in which 30 influencers will invite their Instagram followers to wear clothing they love that has received criticism or been judged. They will be invited to Paris to show off their style together on the street alongside the influencers.
People who take part can share their looks on Stories using the #FreeToBe hashtag. In addition, a series of ads on Facebook and Instagram will smash through clichéd fashion rules.
The campaign builds on Zalando’s positioning unveiled last year when the brand first launched the #FreeToBe hashtag as part of a major international campaign advocating the freedom to be yourself, regardless of shape, age, gender or ethnicity. It starred brand ambassadors such as Alice Hurel, a model with alopecia, and non-binary model and activist, Rain Dove.
Riccardo Vola, Zalando’s general manager, Southern Europe, stated, “It’s important for a brand like Zalando to speak out about acceptance and the freedom to be oneself. Zalando offers all styles and champions inclusive fashion, free from stereotypes. With this campaign, we wanted to go where everybody expresses their sense of fashion – the streets – to reach the public directly and invite them to express their personalities freely.”
Agency: We Are Social Paris
Chief Executive Officer: Sandrine Plasseraud
Executive Creative Director: Thomas Guilhot
Creative Director: Nicolas Duménil
Associate Creative Director: Fabien Gailleul
TV Producers: Cécile Ousset & Annabelle Claverie
Junior Art Director: Doriane Deneuve
Motion Designer: Marius Saltet
Strategic Planners: Emmanuelle Rud, Jeremie Amram & Valentine Boucard
Account Director: Anne-Laure Cottereau
Junior Consultant: Clémence Monfray
Senior Influencer Strategist: Auriane Desplanches
Social Amplification Manager: Boris Le Guen
Media Manager: Yuan Sun