Let's Get Real - In Defense of the Athlete Model
Posted: Feb 10 2015
On more than one occasion, we have an individual suggest that we make some changes to our marketing material. We believe that these people are trying to be helpful as they suggest things, like doing a bit of photo-shopping or that we might consider using different models, both larger and smaller. Now, we understand and appreciate the benefits that come from using professional models and touch-up experts. These women know exactly how they look in front of a camera, they know what kind and how much makeup to wear under studio lights, and they move quickly from pose to pose.
However, as a women’s specific brand, we know bodies (and customers) come in all shapes and sizes. We support them all and we don’t judge. Unfortunately, it seems to us that the vast majority of companies still want models to project a body type that is, by and large fictional. Now this is only our opinion but we guess that the reason for this is that these organizations (who pay the big dollars) still believe that hanging their clothes only on 5' 10" size zeroes is the best way stand out. Again, we're just guessing but we suspect that they have studied the issue and believe that this course of action is in their financial best interest.
But every gal in our pictures is an athlete – usually a runner or a triathlete. We don’t subscribe much to the build of the typical fashion magazine model. In fact, we may call that look “veal” – thin, but with no muscle tone or fitness. Coeur’s whole mission besides making the best endurance clothing on the market is to support and help women get and stay in sport. We support health – no matter what size that comes in.
Let us introduce you to some of our most frequently used models. The first is Hailey, co-founder at Coeur and elite age-group triathlete. Hailey is one strong, fit lady. She is typically a size 4-6 in dress sizing. She is not a fashion modeling size 0-2. No. This gal has muscles that are amazing and strong. As co-founder of the company, she also happens to be inexpensive as a model, which helps out the budget front.
We’d like you to also meet Kristin - former pro triathlete. She is also about to be a mom. She loves sushi, dogs, running and wine. No starvation diet here. And did we mention she is really fit and strong? Those are muscles you see, not ribs or hip bones.
Next, meet Andrea – age-group triathlete and multiple Ironman finisher, wife, amateur photographer, and mom to one extremely handsome bulldog.
Also, say hello to Elizabeth – age-group triathlete. Elizabeth is typically a small on top and medium on the bottom. This represents a lot of our customers that vary from tank to short.
Lastly, we’d like to introduce you to the wide and all-sizes group of ladies that make up our Coeur Ambassador Team. They range in size from x-small to x-large. Again, we like real athletes…no matter what size they come in.
One of the reasons we use Hailey, Kristin, Elizabeth, and Kelly in most of our photos is that they represent our most often bought sizes by our customers. As a small company with a limited budget, we can only do a few photo shoots and product shots a year. Thus we tend to reflect our widest customer base.
As we (and our marketing budget) grow, we're going to continue using athletes in our marketing material. Hopefully, the industry (and our customers) will see things the same way and customers will decide that they'd prefer to buy from companies that "Keep it Real."
As always, we love hearing from you and getting feedback. That is how Coeur continues to improve and grow. So thank you for weighing in (pun intended?) and for also giving us a chance to explain ourselves.