Student blog

Jaden Smith challenges gender in new Vuitton campaign

Meet Louis Vuitton's new muse- Jaden Smith- in their SS16 womenswear campaign. The 17-year-old son of Will Smith challenges gender-neutral dressing as he makes his Vuitton debut in a knee-length skirt and a boyish leather jacket. Previewed last week on Instagram by Nicolas Ghesquiere, the campaign images were shot by Bruce Weber and laugh at past gender conformations. 

In a true celebration of gender fluidity, the actor slash rapper became one of the girls as he starred alongside brit model Jean Campbell, 19-year-old Rianne Van Rompaey and Sarah Brannon in the new womenswear campaign. 

Lisa Walden work

What Smith exaggerates as his "opportunity to impact the world," it appears these images are far more than a teenage icon playing dress up in a woman's clothes. The depiction of Jaden in these images was something I couldn't just scroll past and ignore like the usual sea of uploads on Instagram. But somehow, I found myself captivated by the light Vuitton had shone on the presence of both masculinity and femininity. 

Despite the images touching on transgender territory, it's a progression long overdue. Vuitton's decision to cast Jaden seems quite natural; he's been in the public eye for a year or so for wearing women's clothes, saying 'they're not girls clothes- they're clothes.'  

Lisa Walden work

Smith's inaugural Vuitton campaign got me thinking about my own dress choices, too. 

I shop in the men's section more than I do the women's. It's all oversized, and has none of that tight fitted and uncomfortable stuff. Plus it's cheaper and gives me more freedom. Since there seems to be no shame drooping over women as they shop in the menswear department, why should there be for men? Though this is an encouragement for all genders to dress freely, it's a shame that this has to be a 'trend' though. I say dress how you want and ignore who pays attention or not.