The Unnaturally Natural World of Apparel Catalog Models
I know it's catalog season. Everyone in the industry is crazed, working their millionth hour getting their 2010 catalog out the door. To all of you out there I have one burning question: In both retail markets and promotional markets why do catalog models stare into space at nothing, frozen in peculiar poses, stopped in time like mannequins from the 80's, donning with awkward pride a vast array of polos, oxfords or tees.
Each time I see them (unless it is an American Apparel catalog, which is a different blog entirely) I ask myself, why haven't we changed? Visually speaking, catalogs are pretty much the same as they were in 1980, particularly with all those retro styles coming back in vogue. I can't say it's anyones fault in particular. In fact, I am guessing that revenue numbers must have shown that this works, right? Please, if you can answer this question, e-mail me.
Yes, there are a few who have bucked the “Stepford Wives” model trend and put together a branded, stylized, fashion-forward catalog and I send a great big kudos to each one of you for making my job at putting Promo Marketing magazine covers and the Style section covers together each month easy and breezy, but what about the model? Perfecting the glazed-over look can't be easy. Having hair that is fashionably messy, or perfectly plastered, is not a simple task.
So, in their honor, and for all of you out there who are looking over countless images of perfectly plastic people, here is a little bit of needed comic relief ...