The iconic image of a beautiful woman posing with a horse in fashion magazines is evolving away from runway models that merely hold their beautiful steads at arm’s length, instead major brands are looking to tap into the ever increasing pool of talented and attractive real life equestrians to help sell their goods.
It’s no wonder as high profile beauties like Kaley Cuoco, from TV’s Big Bang Theory, take to the saddle that marketing companies are looking to real riders for a new kind of equestrian model. Gucci has been leading the charge with its equestrian line by signing top show jumpers Charlotte Casiraghi and Edwina Tops-Alexander (Edwina also models for watch brand Jager-LeCoultre) to the brand in 2009-2011. In 2013 the brand added its first male equestrian ambassador to the lineup the devastatingly handsome Guillaume Canet, a French actor and show jumper. Gucci followed up this year by signing Jessica Springsteen American show jumper and daughter of rock-n-roll royalty Bruce Springsteen. They have invested heavily in advertising their equestrian line including a major sponsorship position at the star studded Paris Eiffel show jumping event and title sponsorship of the Gucci Paris Masters.
Not to be left behind sports powerhouse brand Nike has signed its first equestrian athlete, Ayden Uhlir. Ayden is a dressage young rider signed by the brand in 2014 thus far the sports company has not produced a photo ad campaign or equestrian focused product line, but we can all remember those cool boots that they created for the 2008 USA Olympics team. You have to think it’s only a matter of time until Nike products will be showing up in your local tack shop. The choice of a young rider seems like a play toward this being a long term development project but one never knows. Don’t forget before Tiger Woods there was no Nike golf…
In the dressage world Reem Acra has become synonymous in recent years with FEI level competition as the Reem Acra FEI World Cup title sponsor, and in 2011 they created a spectacular ad campaign staring not only the company’s red carpet worthy gowns but also a number of incredibly well groomed equines. Equestrians can only hope a future campaign might feature the riders too. How phenomenal would Charlott Dujardin look in a floor length silk gown with whip, boots and spurs standing next to the every exquisite Valegro wind blowing in his mane? That would be awesome.
This fall keep an eye out for the dark and sinister ad campaign of Alexander McQueen’s featuring model Edie Campbell and costumed horses fit for an evil queen. The ads showcase designer Sarah Burton’s somewhat Gothic creations for the fall 2014 McQueen line. Edie is an accomplished amateur eventer with her horse Dolly, who is frequently featured on the sought-after model’s Instagram account (@ediebcampbell). Edie has been the face of such famous brands as Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Jil Sander. Not to be left in out of all this fame Dolly found her way in front of the lens of photographer Tim Walker for a camo with his owner in a Lanvin campaign this year. Seeing Edie in photos on the event course gives us all hope that someday we may end up on the cover of a Vogue too!