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River Island creates provocative Labels Are For Clothes campaign

High street fashion retailer River Island is challenging societal labels in its latest s/s 18 campaign, ‘Labels Are For Clothes’. The ad campaign runs from today and seeks to raise awareness of outdated and irrelevant labels people are given with regards to their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and more.

Created by integrated agency Studio Blvd. and produced by sister company JN Production, it will run across TV, VOD, out-of-home, press and social media, and with influencers Daisy Lowe, Chanel Iman and Zack Miko.

Shot by renowned photographer Richard Burbridge and director of-the-moment Lacey, the characters in the campaign are shown to be much more than the labels they have been given. The cast that feature in the campaign were found from around the world and all have suffered at the hands of negative labels, with the images seeking to reflect diversity and an inclusive mind-set.

Model and body confidence activist Sabina appears with the message ‘Do not shrink’, while committed couple Charlie and Bella are represented with the line ‘Do not separate’. Born male, the glamorous Stav Strashko states she is ‘100% Woman’, while Zara is of Pakistani heritage and Muslim, but born and made in Britain, she asks that you ’Do not stereotype’. Proving that age is but a number, Steven Lyon owns it as a 56-year-old ‘Made In 1961’ and Asianna, who models both as man and a woman, is ‘100% gender free’.

“River Island has always inspired people to express their individuality through their clothes, we wanted to take the brand a step further and get River Island to stand for something beyond fashion. Gender labels, cultural labels, racial labels, political labels, LGBTQIAP+ labels have been dominating cultural conversations in the UK and beyond. We encouraged River Island to join the conversation and celebrate the individual in their own unique way, using the tongue-in-cheek lingo of laundry labels sewn in their garments,” says Alistair Green, CSO Studio Blvd.

Josie Cartridge, customer director, River Island, says: We are celebrating the individuality and diversity of our brand and customers; we believe labels belong on clothes, not people. We knew Studio Blvd. were the perfect partner to create this campaign with us.”

You can view the director’s cut of the TV advert here.



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