Do you remember what the world looked like in 1990? It was the year when Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years imprisonment; it was that year we saw the end of over three decades of Cold War, and, just before the country was reunited, West Germany took home the World Cup in football.
The year 1990 is also a landmark for JACK & JONES; it’s when we were founded. JACK & JONES has become a household name in jeanswear around the globe. Back in the early days, things looked a little different.
We want to show you how we got to where we are today, so we took a look through our photo archives and dug out some of the campaigns spanning more than two decades. Our Director for Buying and Design, Anders Gam, puts words to the pictures.
The 90s: Americana and Unseen Photo Manipulation
We start at the beginning. The autumn/winter 1993 campaign vividly shows what JACK & JONES used to look like; classic jeanswear with strong Americana references. Today, the “do not handle with care” slogan may seem a little clichéd – in the early 90s, it was an obvious antidote to the polished fashion industry.
The Jeep campaign was also quite ground-breaking for us. In 2015, we take camera equipped smartphones for granted, and editing a photo is done with the swipe of a finger. Back then, digital photo manipulation like this wasn’t something you expected in clothing advertisements. Anders laughs when he recalls how people would ask him ‘how the heck they got that Jeep up on a mountain – and then got the guy to do a handstand on it.’ Much has changed, obviously.
The Early 00s: “Technical” Denims, Flares, and Bryan Adams
Fast forward to the turn of the millennium when denim had advanced from its traditional rigid, 100% cotton state and synthetic fibres had gained a foothold. Naturally, JACK & JONES was part of the trend; we introduced the concept “Denim Technic.” Around that time, boot cuts and flared jeans were also highly fashionable, as our campaign at the bottom left above clearly shows.
In 2000, Bryan Adams performed at BESTSELLER’s 25th anniversary party in Copenhagen. We found out that not only is Mr. Adams a great musician, he’s also pretty gifted with a camera. The following year, we hired the Canadian rock star to shoot our Blue Tour campaign (right above).
The Mid-00s: Tattoos Get Associated With Fashion
In 2006, Anders and his team took a rather controversial decision when they street-casted guys in Berlin who didn’t look like ordinary fashion models of the time. Especially one guy with a classic Brit Pop-haircut and obvious neck tattoos, captured by the Danish star photographer Søren Solkær, evoked strong emotions from retailers and consumers alike.
Only a few years later, tattooed models were common on runways and in fashion campaigns – and the model in our campaign had become a super model.
The 2010s: Award-Winning Campaign With the World’s Coolest Tailor
In the fall of 2013, we made a big bet when we launched the “Made From Cool” campaign. Its goal was to promote our PREMIUM by JACK & JONES brand and tell the story of our tailored garments.
The idea of the campaign was pretty simple: show the coolest tailor in the world. Who better to play the part than American Academy Award-winner, Christopher Walken?
A script was written specifically with the actor in mind and when it surfaced that he had lived in Copenhagen for a short time in his youth, he was invited to do the shoot in the Danish capital. In the blink of an eye, it was all wrapped up.
The “Made From Cool” campaign proved to be very successful and earned us all kinds of advertising awards. But, most importantly, it put our name on the lips of people all around the world.
No one knows what the future brings, but one thing is certain; we will continue to show our dedication to denim through our campaigns. This spring, we’re celebrating just that in our “25 Years and Still Loving Denim” campaign.