There are two things that come to mind when I think of Benetton…
One is my adolescence or tween years, as they would be called today. Not yet a girl, not yet a woman, and definitely not yet a lady of the Internets.
Back then I had to entertain myself with other things like IRL friends and magazines instead of Instagram followers and blogs. As boring as that probably sounds to 11-year-olds slash everyone, it was awesome. Getting a new magazine in the mail felt like winning the lotto. I got Sassy, Seventeen, Teen, YM, Rolling Stone. Honestly, you name it, I devoured it. Aside from reading every article, I looked at the ads. As an impressionable kid I took them pretty seriously. Like, to this day I still remember seeing a french manicure for the first time in a bracelet ad and praying for the day I could do that.
Another ad that stuck out was from United Colors of Benetton. It was an image of a group of kids and super-bright colored clothes having the best time of their lives. I knew I wanted to be them when I was “older”. It was a brand that was aspirational for me.
Probably why the second thing that comes to mind when I think of the brand is the day I bought my first business suit. During my last month of college advisers strongly suggested we buy one for our BIG INTERVIEWS. So, I marched into the Benetton store and purchased a $250 matching blazer and slacks – which, at the time, was a huge splurge for me. I wore that suit to approximately four interviews and the one that I got was the one that I wore jeans to. Eight years later, I still have not worn a suit to an interview. NEVER WILL.
After that incident I didn’t pay much attention to Benetton. Aside from that business suit traumatizing me, I worked in retail (so I got a lot of clothes for free), fast fashion became my go-to, and I never came across those ads that drew me in in the first place. That was until I came across the a/w 13 campaign.
It’s just like the old days in that it’s both aspirational and inspirational. The backdrops are bold graffiti print and feature stars of the global style scene like two of our fave musicians Sky Ferreira and Theophilus London along with wild-haired model, Chloe Norgaard, and others.
I decided to investigate further to see if the merch backed up the allure of the ads and it actually did. It was surprising to see how much I actually liked. Yes, there were still the business-lady clothes that I was scared to make eye contact with but there was also really trend-driven pieces mixed in with the basics.
Recently, I found out that the new fashion-forward designs and milennial-targeted ads are all part of their push to have more of an online presence which includes an ecommerce portion. I’d say it’s a smart move since there are other girls like me that dreamed of going to multi-ethnic ski trips in neon snowsuits with 20 of my best friends that have not only realized that was just an ad but also have grown up to be hi, young professionals that need cool clothes for their relaxed office environments.
Head to http://shopus.benetton.com/ to see what we mean.