Wranglers, back in my childhood the poor kid’s alternative to Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilts, is trying to take on an edgy new image with a bizarre French ad campaign that looks like a combination of wildlife and crime scene photography.
A heated debate took place at Feministing over whether the photos depict their female models as victims of violence or if they’re in strange, stylized animal poses (there’s apparently an equally bizarre TV ad accompanying it). After my initial grimace of distaste upon seeing the photos for the first time, I concede that the woman in the second picture is not likely supposed to be posed like a corpse–if you look in the lower right hand corner you can see she’s lifting her face out of the water. Whatever the model in the drenched, filthy looking jeans in the top picture is supposed to be doing is anybody’s guess. However, the somber gray lighting, murky water and dirt-coated skin of the model in the second picture is unsettling at best, and doesn’t make me think of animals, let alone cheap jeans you can buy at Sears. Actually, it reminds me of 1986’s River’s Edge, the creepy “what’s the matter with these kids today?” film starring the gloriously wacky Crispin Glover as the ringleader of a group of teens who agrees to keep the murder of one of their friends a secret. Either that, or the premiere episode of Twin Peaks. Or any number of documentaries on Court TV and Investigation Discovery about disturbed loners who work out their mommy issues by raping and killing hookers. But it damn well doesn’t make me think of jeans, and I shudder to think of what the rejected ad campaigns must have looked like. Perhaps a pair of splayed legs in the middle of a highway with treadmarks across them. WRANGLERS: BUILT TOUGH.