Pharrell Williams has partnered with Adidas to launch Now Is Her Time, a campaign that according to the press release is “aimed at female empowerment across the world through the power of representation and bold voices.” The campaign taps into an impressive list of artists, activists, and athletes including Patrisse Cullors, community organizer and co-founder of Black Lives Matter; Nadya Okamoto, nonprofit leader and founder of period.org; singer-songwriter Syd; Artist and Founder of Art Mom project Tyra Mitchell; surfer Keala Naihe; and dancers Sheena Cain and Sophia Parker.
Photographer Collier Schorr, whose work explores themes of identity and gender, studied journalism prior to her career in art and fashion photography, and the campaign reflects this by adhering to an editorial style that seems appropriate to the overarching themes of change-making, and the power of bold voices. Props can be given to Pharrell Williams not only for using his platform to champion race and gender equality, but also for allowing Schorr to minimize his physical presence by placing him behind the stars in one of the group shots for the campaign, foreshortened and diminutive as a visual analogy for deference and humility.
With strong art direction by Doug Lloyd and his team at Lloyd & Co and an even stronger message, the only potential critique that surfaces upon deeper reflection is the campaign’s choice to include men such as writer, director, and broadcaster Reggie Yates, and architectural technologist Iddris Sandu. Likely a nod to inclusion and gender equality, this still seems a bit incongruous for a campaign focused on female empowerment. However, the press release states that the campaign “is told from the point of view of females from different backgrounds and the allies who support them” and features shoes and apparel for “adults, juniors, kids and infants that stand for women’s rights”. From the perspective of allies, which are so essential for positive social change, including all sexes and sexualities makes good sense.
Pharrell Williams, Adidas, and Lloyd & Co certainly deserve kudos for building a campaign with a social conscience. As the world shifts increasingly towards a global economy – the value and importance of celebrities and companies promoting positive social change and encouraging dialogue around issues of gender, sexuality, sexual rights, race, and equality cannot be overstated.
Client | Adidas + i am OTHER Adidas + Pharrell Williams Creative Director | Pharrell Williams Agency | Lloyd & Co Creative Director | Doug Lloyd i am OTHER Creative Director | Phi Hollinger Photographer/Director | Collier Schorr Director | Talents | Patrisse Cullors, Nadya Okamoto, Syd, Reggie Yates, Iddris Sandu, Keala Naihe, Sana Azim, Tyra Mitchell, Isabela Rangel Grutman, Sara Cummings, Kadija Diawara, Sheena Cain & Sophia Parker Stylist | Max Clark Hair | Tomo Jidai Makeup | Francelle Daly Casting Director | Angus Munro Production | One Thirty-Eight Productions