The future of fashion? Eleven-year-old boy fronts new Acne campaign for womenswear collection
Eleven-year-old Frasse Johansson, son of Acne creative director Jonny Johansson, has just been cast to model the Stockholm-based studio's FW15 women's collection.
Shot by Viviane Sassen, young Frasse dons an oversized salmon pink wool coat, flared pants, nose jewellery, metallic heels and a range of leather handbags. (To answer that question posed earlier, "Will gender-neutral clothing ever have mainstream appeal?" it's a definite, resounding yes.)
What motivated the unconventional casting decision? Johansson cites the new generation's open-mindedness and fluidity when it comes to gender as inspiration.
"I've seen this new generation's attitude to fashion where the cut, the shape and the character of the garment is the crucial thing, rather then seeking approval from society or to follow set norms. I immediately pictured Frasse, since he embodies this new breed to me," Jonny, Frasse's dad, said in a press release, adding, "I asked him, and I'm happy that he wanted to be a part of the campaign."
Frasse may have been keen to take part, but modelling does have its drawbacks. "Walking in high heels is so hard, and I don't understand how anyone can walk in them," Frasse told WWD. "Playing football is more my thing but it was great fun to do it. And I got to hang out with my dad."
Acne has toyed with androgyny before, but the movement toward a more gender-neutral aesthetic is only slowly being adapted industry-wide – and it's resonating with consumers.
The photos look natural and Frasse appears relaxed, reflecting both his ease and society's increasing comfort and familiarity with gender-bending moments in the mainstream media.
Who says women can't have buzz cuts, and men can't make beauty tutorials and put them on YouTube? Lines are becoming increasingly blurred as many designers such as J.W. Anderson and Comme des Garcons do away with separate collections and find new ways to address clothing in a non gender-specific way.
Despite the welcomed move towards gender fluid fashion, it is nonetheless disappointing to see another women's fashion campaign completely absent of grown women's bodies. Known for its frenzied need for newer and fresher faces, fashion's obsession with all things youthful appears in no risk of waning.