Deconstructing Vivienne Westwood Ads at the Tipping Point

In the summer of 2010, in Paris France, I wrote a final thesis of 40 pages including high gloss colour images on fashion marketing — more specifically what makes a Westwood Ad tick. I was studying abroad from New York University at the American University of Paris. It was really difficult to get quality information on Vivienne Westwood Marketing. I bought several books, one from Shakespeare and Co. in Paris. Almost everything was in French, but the book Vivienne Westwood by Claire Wilcox. I was not finished with the paper by the time I was to leave Paris. So I continued writing while driving across Europe on the rails. I found a lot of research, and wrote a bulk of it while on the Italian Island of Capri, in the Mediterranean.

Steven Meisel photographs Jenny Bowden in Mini Crini for Vivienne Westwood
Above, Jenny Bowden for Vivienne Westwood, photographed by Steven Meisel

Without getting into too much technical stuff, I will tell you what I learned. She uses several techniques in her ads… Marketing Blackness, Celebrity Endorsement, Music Affiliation, Youth Appeal, to name a few. Imagine writing 30 pages on this. What I liked most was the Nostalgia of Mud collection — a very rastafarian/hobo influenced look as you can see here:

toddhanlon.co.uk, AUP, NYU, Steinhardt, SCPS, Vivienne Westwood Ads, Research on Vivienne Westwood Ads

toddhanlon.co.uk, AUP, NYU, Steinhardt, SCPS, Vivienne Westwood Ads, Research on Vivienne Westwood Ads

The paper was due about one week after I was scheduled to return to NYC, but I could not wait until then, as there was months of work. I left France for Italy and had to spend about 8-12 hours in Capri writing when I would have rather been outside swimming. The professor gave me an A-, probably because I was late for some deadlines and was out on the road. Some of the ads I wrote about are shown below:

And some more photos:

If you want to see more of France visit my flickr page.

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