Young and old, side by side: I Love Ugly bridges the generation gap

New Zealand menswear retailer I Love Ugly has taken one of the most notoriously difficult talents (kids) and coupled it with a notoriously underused talent in fashion (the middle aged to elderly) for its latest ad campaign, ‘Generations’.

In advertising, the elderly are generally only seen in campaigns involving unfortunate consequences of their age, such as incontinence pads or retirement homes.

But I Love Ugly has flipped that stereotype on its head, photographing slick-looking older men in their garments alongside a younger generation. 

The retailer brought together participants from two different age groups: boys from three to 12 years of age and men from 49 to 69 years of age.

The groups were asked one question each and their answers were channelled into what they were wearing and the mood of the photo, with all the clothes worn from I Love Ugly’s previous, current and future collections.

The young boys were asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

In contrast, the older men were asked, ‘If you could relive your life, what would you do differently?’

The juxtaposed results show contrasting emotions through the stages of a person’s life: hope, ambition, self-reflection and even regret.

Full information on the unique campaign will be released this week, with the answers to the models’ questions being made available online and in I Love Ugly stores.

The brand seems fond of unique campaigns. Earlier this year, it plucked ordinary guys off the street and got them style themselves in its clothing and be photographed for “Normals”.


Prior to that, it cast then 53-year-old Pascal alongside 23-year-old Zak to model its collaboration line with Hypebeast in 2013.

At the time, it said it was to show how classic trends can transcend into modern-day culture and interpretations of trends can change depending on who’s wearing the clothing.

“The old becomes the new and the new becomes the old, they are one in the same,” the company said.

Karen Walker is another Kiwi brand that garnered worldwide press by using older models.

The New Zealand fashion designer employed women between the age of 65 and 92 to model its sunglasses in 2013, which is almost unheard of in women’s fashion.

This story was originally published on The Register.

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