Betabrand, an online retailer of crowdsourced clothing, just launched its spring line, and the company decided to take a different approach to marketing the new looks: Each of the models would have a Ph.D.
"When you look beyond the ranks of the professionally beautiful, photography becomes a lot more fun," Betabrand founder Chris Lindland said in a statement. "Our designers cooked up a collection of smart fashions for spring, so why not display them on the bodies of women with really big brains?"
So they did just that. The new collection features women (yes, thin and attractive women, which some critics are sure to point out) with a Ph.D. or who are working toward a Ph.D. The retailer's spring gallery refers to them as "our ravishing roster of Ph.Ds and doctoral candidates." You can check out the full gallery here.
Lindland tells AdFreak that the brand's models are almost always his team's friends, relatives and colleagues. This year, he asked a Stanford neuropsychology graduate student if any of her friends would be interested in modeling.
"The next thought, naturally, was to have only Ph.Ds and doctoral candidates model our spring collection," he says. "So we wrote our customers and Facebook followers, searching for Ph.Ds. Sixty women from around the world applied."
Some of the photos were shot at Betabrand's headquarters, while some models were shipped prototypes to wear in photos shot at their location.
I asked Lindland what the response on social media has been from Betabrand's followers and customers. "Great so far. Plenty of tweets. Plenty of sales. Doctors, lawyers and MBAs have written in demanding a fashion focus of their own," Lindland said.
UPDATE: Some commenters have complained the campaign only features white models. While we can't vouch for the ethnicity of all the women involved, we've added a photo of the campaign's one African-American model, Asha, to the examples below.