Wolford’s new season campaign is set to launch with a bang this month as the brand unveils its latest innovations and a fabulous new set of imagery shot by the inimitable Mario Testino.
The Austrian-based hosiery and lingerie brand gave Fashion Bust a preview of the images a few weeks ago, and we loved them so much we sat down with UK MD Angela Blundell and marketing manager Sidonie Goldman to find out more about the new look Wolford.
This is a brand that has always taken great pride in its photography. Polished and confident, every season’s imagery conveys the sense of the Wolford woman. She’s strong, self-assured, unashamedly sexy and always totally chic. In the past the brand has worked with such luminaries of the photography world as Helmet Newton and Rankin to produce its campaigns, but it has been a while since the last high profile collaboration. So we wanted to know: why now?
Wolford has been working on refocusing its business for a while now, explains Angela, and that included the way it presents itself to customers. ‘We wanted to reaffirm our brand DNA and it felt like the right time to recreate some of that amazing imagery we’ve produced in the past. We wanted this campaign to really communicate our core values, keeping the product very sexy and not compromising on quality.’
The decision to work with world-renowned fashion photographer Mario Testino was an easy one, she adds. It’s a name that’s not just famous in fashion circles. He’s worked for the top fashion magazines as well as high profile celebrities – Princess Diana famously chose Testino for her 1997 Vanity Fair shoot, and he also shot Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement – not to mention numerous top fashion houses.
‘Mario Testino is one of the best, and we felt the brand should work with the best in line with those collaborations of the past,’ says Angela. Indeed, the products featured in the Helmut Newton images of 1995 are still some of Wolford’s best-sellers, which shows just how effective a good photo can be.
Another reason was the photographer’s vision and his ability to bring a complex brief to life, because this campaign is centred on achieving a closer connection between the brand and its customers, current and new, and communicating the essence of the brand. The official press release talks about ‘emotional presence’ and it’s really all about creating an image that resonates with your target customers, that touches them on an emotional level and draws them in.
Everything from the products to the photographer and the model are key to achieving this. In Mario Testino Wolford have the photographer, and the brand chose Swedish supermodel Caroline Winberg as their model. ‘We feel she really epitomises the Wolford woman,’ says Angela. In terms of products, the 2014 campaign showcases a number of Wolford’s best-selling core styles, such as hosiery, from that 1995 photo shoot as well as some of its seasonal additions.
‘We wanted to create an impact and these pictures do that, but we also do it by showing core products and how these can be worn in a very provocative and modern way,’ says Sidonie. ‘But the images are always super chic even when they are saucy and sexy. The Wolford woman is always elegant.’
Wolford’s photography has always managed to combine these qualities – sexy without being too overt. It’s sex appeal done in a tasteful and empowering way, making the woman look strong and sensual but never objectifying her. And from the social media response to the teaser images released a couple of weeks ago – ‘everyone’s reaction has just been “wow”,’ says Sidonie – Wolford and Mario Testino have got the balance just right once again.
The new images aren’t the only exciting thing to be coming out of Wolford this season, however. With one eye always on innovation, the brand has developed a new collection in its Shape & Control range that promises to be a winner.
The Sheer Touch collection is shapewear for people who don’t like shapewear. The ultra-fine, silky smooth fabric looks like it couldn’t possibly be effective shapewear, but this is deceptive. These control garments might look and feel like regular, albeit rather special, underwear, but they do in fact offer medium level shaping and smoothing that gives beautiful definition to your silhouette.
Looking at this range, it’s hard to believe that Wolford first moved into shapewear only a few seasons ago. But it’s a product category that has done so well for the brand that they have continued to innovate and develop new products, continually refining the Shape & Control range to create ever lighter, more wearable and more effective styles across three levels of control – light, medium and firm.
The Shape & Control range has been especially popular in the smaller sizes – something that many shapewear brands have found – as women turn to shapewear less for figure-transformation and more for shaping and smoothing the silhouette, something the Sheer Touch garments are perfect for.
Wolford’s characteristic attention to detail is in evidence everywhere in the collection. There are flat, laser cut edges and wide waistbands for comfort and to prevent unsightly digging in or rolling down, and the sleek, purist-style garments feel completely seamless on, a world away from the heavy, restrictive shapewear styles of years past. What’s more, the fabric is also breathable, easy to wear and care for, and crucially with shapewear, easy to get on and off. No contortions necessary. To wear the Sheer Touch control pants is like wearing a pair of knickers with a little something extra.
The Sheer Touch collection includes a shaping skirt, shorts and panty, plus a cup sized body that goes up to a D cup – new territory for Wolford, which as previously only offered cup sizes up to a C. The body comes in string and full back styles, and there’s also string and tanga briefs plus a bra for a full lingerie range.
The collection launches soon online at Wolfordshop.co.uk, in the brand’s stores and with stockists. And if you’re nearby one of Wolford’s boutiques later this month, be sure to pop in and see the new campaign shots in all their glory.
Finally, don’t miss out on your chance to own a little piece of Wolford’s famous elegance. The brand is offering one Fashion Bust reader the chance to win its beautiful Berlin body, worth £109. Find out how to enter.