Over 2010 we became used to images of women, striding sassily down the road in shrill packs of four. The high street version of Sex and the City was used by everyone from Boots (‘Here come the girls)’ to M&S (Twiggy and Friends) and beyond.
But recently we’ve noticed a new aesthetic. Brand after brand seems to be using images of libraries and books in their marketing to women. Radley, Clarks, Gap, Cath Kidston and White Stuff, to name a handful, have featured women browsing shelves or relaxing next to dusty piles of books, with even the bags and shoes actually being advertised resting on heavy tomes. Are books the new fashion accessory?
What does this say about how brands are talking to women? Are they out to flatter women’s intelligence as well as looks, showing respect for discerning consumers rather than patronising ‘the girls’? Perhaps with more graduates than ever, and women being found to read more avidly than men, many women are more likely to feel connected to a brand that shows intellectual, bookish females. We think the gigging shopaholic girl has had her day.