Lingerie retailer Diane’s rebrands with gallery show focused on the female form

A new owner reaches out to a younger market

Vancouver lingerie retailer Diane’s has unveiled a daring campaign that sees real customer’s bodies used as part of the store’s new brand identity.

“The Art of a Woman”, the campaign conceived of by agency 123W, uses subtle imprints of women’s bodies on everything from shopping bags to business cards.

According to 123W partner Rob Sweetman, the new look seeks to refresh the brand for a younger market in a highly competitive industry.

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“We were approached by the store’s new owner, who has taken over from Diane [Thompson, the company's founder] after 30 years. She is seeing a lot of competition from brands like Victoria’s Secret and Nordstrom,” Sweetman said.

Sweetman said the agency carried out a lot of research to find the right approach. As Diane’s specializes in custom-fit bras, the campaign needed to play up this competitive advantage. “We found out that 80% – 90% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. We spoke to Diane’s customers and they talked about the ‘magic behind the [fitting] curtain.’”

The idea of the body as a fingerprint took hold, and 30 of the store’s real customers agreed to be painted head-to-toe to create an imprint of their body on canvas.

“We tried to use as many different body types as we could. We had three women who’d had mastectomies, plus-sized women and asymmetrical shapes.”

According to Sweetman, it was wasn’t difficult to find women to take part once the idea was presented and it was explained how the images would be used.

“We took them to a studio where they picked out their own paints and created their own art. It took two days and it was pretty intense. They were supervised, but they mainly did it all themselves.”

The rebrand was launched at a Vancouver art gallery last week where the prints were on display. They were auctioned off to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, raising $5,600.

It’s not the first time Diane’s has done something a bit risqué to make its brand stand out. In 2011, a team of models wearing sheer attire hits the streets of Vancouver showcasing the lingerie underneath.

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