Who is the modern woman?
Dear reader, You may be thinking, why do I need to read this square before me? Well, as fig.’s first issue, it would be rude not to introduce ourselves. Fig. is the quarterly suppplment for women looking for a magazine with just a little more substance. Here, at fig., we believe the women’s magazine extends beyond the typical soap crossword and latest diet recipe. Rather, we see this as the perfect opportunity for women, like you and I, to read about the issues we are really concerned about and reflect upon the success of the strong individuals alike. Of course, it’s not all serious, we love to indulge in the latest trends too - who wouldn’t? However, we have ditched the day-glo and tattered throwaway and graced you with finest materials for the finest woman. In this issue, we passionately cover the uncovered question ‘Who is the modern woman?’ It is often we fix our eyes upon dainty beauties laced in silk gowns, yet no other supplement takes the time to recognise the average working mother as an individual. So, to you reading this, forget the “5 Butt Buster Exercises” and take your time to turn through pages that should leave your outlook on your opportunities a little (postively)– different.
Millennial women are taking on different roles and equalling the playing field - and their relationships with brands are also shifting. With women representing 80% of all purchasing decisions, it’s time brands change how they market to this increasingly influential audience. The influence of the female audience is changing. No more so than within the affluent population, where unlike previous generations, women make up 64 percent of the millennial affluent group (FutureCast). When it comes to marketing to women, many luxury brands have been slow to subvert the norm. Far too often we see clichéd images with reductive portrayals of the female. Take Yves Saint Laurent’s controversial advert from earlier this year as an example. The campaign featured a spread-legged, slender woman in high heels, pho-
tographed at crotch level. Ironically launched just before International Women’s Day 2017, it attracted a backlash from Parisians taking to social media to voice their concerns. While the modern mindset on gender is moving forward, we’re still seeing luxury brands failing to represent this change. With this in mind, we set out to understand the 21st Century Woman – and how brands represent and speak to her. Our research found that women still feel overwhelmingly misunderstood by brands, with 76 percent of women feeling that brands do not represent them. What’s even more sobering is that 40 percent of women cited brands and advertising as one of the main reasons to feel self-critical. The mere need for awards such as the Cannes Glass Lion, which sets out to positively impact ingrained
gender inequality, shows that the majority of the industry still has a long way to go. Of course, this is not true of all advertising. A handful of luxury marketers are going against the grain to appeal to the modern woman’s mindset. From challenging gender stereotypes to empowering women in the workplace, here are some of the brands that are stepping up to the mark. One brand that has overthrown sector
convention is KENZO. The French fashion label promoted its ‘KENZO World’ fragrance with an explosive film called ‘My Mutant Brain’ – a far cry from the flower-filled fields and white linen dresses of traditional fragrance advertising. Think of a traditional perfume ad, and you will conjure up images of impossibly empty cities and impossibly sexualised women. KENZO’s film breaks this mold, shaking off the formal ideals of beauty and restrained
behaviour to prove that it’s okay to show women with emotional complexity and physical intensity. Attracting more than one million views in just seven days, the film caused a significant stir and most recently has been honored with eight Cannes Lions Awards, included a coveted Titanium lion. Another brand seeking to subvert tradition through scent is Chanel. The French atelier partnered with i-D Magazine and crafted ‘The Fifth Sense’, a content hub to celebrate
creative women who embody the values of Coco Chanel. As part of the project, six artworks were commissioned by female creative talents and hosted on the platform, each exploring how the power of fragrance and a sense of scent can influence the creative process. Since the launch, The Fifth Sense has generated strong engagement amongst the creative community with over 4 million visitors, and has allowed Chanel to move past celebrity-dominated advertising, dedicating its site to recognising female talent. What makes Chanelâ€™s campaign so successful is that is actively promotes the female-first attitude it celebrates. Elie Saab has a similar agenda, recognising entrepreneurial women with their new campaign #GirlOfNow. In a series of videos, the fashion brand explores the female experience in the workplace, hearing from a variety of prominent woman from tech gurus to supermodels to designers. Not only does the campaign position Elle
Saab amongst inspirational and realistic professional role models, it also plays an active role in the fight to get womenâ€™s voices heard. As millennial women gain more affluence and influence, their potential buying power cannot be ignored. Tapping into key influencers and giving a voice to female brand co-creators and co-owners will be crucial for brands marketing to women. After all, talking about womenâ€™s empowerment and doing something about it are two very different things. Brands who drive women-focused campaigns accompanied with promises of internal change and positive actions are leading the charge. Such actions not only raise awareness of an important issue and resonate with consumers, they are also key to ensure longevity.
s s e n d o o G l a b o l G An update to the Bohemian style is Global Goodness. Drawing upon cultural influences from Morroco and alike, FCUK’s Aztec Patterned Throw (£45) is guaranteed to lift any dull room. These prints can be layered with chunky knit throws and soft, enlightening wall colours. If you are opting for an overhaul, rip out the weathered carpet and paint your unloved floorboards. Made.com
Once before, feature walls were a must have in the bedroom. However, Artisan Textures is all about bringing the outside in. Taking the bedroom back to its purest form, it should be a place of rest and re-energinsation. Lacuqer your walls with a pasel backdrop for increased relaxation. A simple linen duvet set will suit perfectly, arranging an assortment of Bohemian cushions, like H&M’s Textured Weave Cushion cover (£19.99).
s t n e m g i P h c i R With Rich Pigments, do not be afraid to use a dark wall as your canvas - painting up to the picture rail. Matched with simple, yet timeless accent pieces, such as Made’s Margot Accent Chair (£399), this bold room should not take a lot to dress.
A flashback to the 80s, Tropical Prints have wormed their way back into the interior design scene. If you are looking to redress your tableware, H&M’s Porcelain Plate (£3.99) would be an ideal place to start. There is no particular backdrop for this statement trend, it could even be styled against a tired magnolia. H&M
“She’s not a trophy to be had.”
C a p r i c o r n Dec 22 Jan 19 The information you’re getting from around you is a little hard to make sense of - at least in any way you’ve tried so far. Fortunately, you’re quite comfortable in the realm of the unreal, where edges don’t have to meet and mysteries are generally better left untouched.
A r i e s Mar 21 Apr 19 You need some help to get where you’re going today. Of course, you’re great on your own - better than most - and well known for doing amazing work independetly. It’s just that for now, your personal energy responds better to teamwork. Any brainstorming session is bound to be inspiring.
A q u a r i u s Jan 20 Feb 19 Life’s a party for you - in fact, you’re practically rhe guest of honour! Since it’s all about you, expect some off venues or behaviours, like an eccentric art studio filled with people wearing glammedout 70s clothes. You’re getting all the credit for everyone’s fun.
T a u r u s Apr 20 May 20 Your well planned approach to work, to your love life or to an issue with a good friend is about to run up against someone else’s beliefs about how things ought be done. Natural reaction is to stick to your guns and argue for your way.
P i s c e s Feb 19 Mar 20 Some inspiring and wonderful times lie just ahead, so just keep smiling, even if you feel silly right now. Take a break from stressing out, no matter how big the stress is, and just let youself wallow in something you love, do what makes you happy.
G e m i n i May 21 Jun 20 A bit of haziness may be clouding your mind, but it’s nothing that a little rest and relaxation can’t take care of. Focus on yourself -- it’s almost always the case that any time you feel that you mustn’t take any time off is exactly when you need that break the most.
C a n c e r Jun 21 Jul 22 Caution with your feelings is one thing, but refusing to let yourself feel vulnerable is another and it’s a killer! Listen to your instics about this new situation, they should tell you what to do. If you feel anxious, talk about everything with someone close who has given you a reality check before.
L i b r a Sep 23 Oct 22 You’ve got a special glow, one that shows that your brain is running and generating some serious heat up in your head. You’re never quite as sexy as you are when you’ve occupied with creative energy to the exclusion of all else. Someone new is just about to capture your attention.
L e o Jul 23 Aug 22 If you’ve been wishing for love, you may suddenly find yourself in the company of a smart new friend. If you’ve been hoping for major progress at work, a new love could pop up out of nowehere. If you want to grapple with a big family issure, career will lead you.
S c o r p i o Oct 23 Nov 21 Some really weird energy is blowing your way, bringing with it the possibility of unusual outbursts and big, crazy ideas. Someone close rubs you the wrong way, try not to get het up when you can instead show off your ability to sit back and adapt.
V i r g o Aug 23 Sep 22 You’ve made a real connection, now you need to push it along into something you really want it to be. Think about deepening the link and discovering all the mutually supportive nooks as you two share a genuine expression of your feelings.
S a g i t t a r i u s Nov 22 Dec 21 That old advice ‘ Don’t talk to strangers’ doesn’t really apply to you. In fact, at the moment, talking to new both simple to do and amazingly rewarding. If you’re at the shop, ask someone for help deciding what looks right and ask what’s new in their world.
Dutch illustrator Bodil Jane has been making waves on the illustration scene since graduating from the Willem do Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Beginning comissioned work in her second year of studying, her portfolio has grown in strength and variety, including clients such as The Plant Journal, Radio Times and Amsterdam & Co. What fig. particularly love about Bodil’s work is her eye for imagining the relatable personal interiors of her characters. Inspired “recipes, animals, fashion, interiors, plants packaages and maps.”
Bodil Jane. 28
looking at Bodil’s like walking round discovered antique colourful, homely
work is an unshop of goodies.
Her illustrations are full of life without being overbearingly busy. “I think I’m obsessed with objects. I get really inspired by flea markets. I love postcard collections, exotic curiosities, antique tableware, freaky dolls, and so on. I just love things,’ Bodil explains. In her wide ranged, yet considered, use of colour you can see a relation to an assortment of cultures including “Mexican ornaments, Japanese portraits of wmen from the 1930s and Persian art.
Bdoil’s style has developed by keeping her approach simple but accurate. Consistently created by hand, her flowing use of ink and watercolour is as inviting on screen as it is in print. This is a consequence of Bodil’s resistance to technology, but sensibility of knowing exactly when to use mixed media. “For a while I’ve been experimenting with more mixed media, using textures of digital lines. Still, the base of my illustrations is always very analogue” . she says.
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Once upon a time, glitter strictly belong in your childhood purse filled with pennies. Yet MAC’s Melon Pigment (£16) transforms tired eyes in seconds, ready for the red carpet. Makeup artists recommend to apply in the centre of the lid and buff outwards.
A classic that makes its way back through the ages is Cherry Lips. Kjaer Weis’ Lipstick in Believe (£44) is made up of at least 95% organic ingredients and ensures for easy application and long wear.
Giambattista Valli F/W 18
C h e r r y L i p s
e y E t a C n r o N , h s u l
Ditch your oily contour palette and switch for a subtle blush to rosy your cheeks. Perricone MD’s No Blush Blush (£29) is a pretty pink fluid that melts into the skin.
Danils Hess, Minji
Rather than sport a smudge of eyeliner, be bold with Anastasia Beverly Hills Waterproof Crème Colour (£18). Build up product gradually to create a smoky cat eye.
LOEWE, Woven Basket Bag, Â£2,500
Vana Chupp, a new mum at 36, also birthed the idea of La Papier Studio.
What advice would you give to women hoping to start their own design business? I would advise them to research the market before they put themselves out there. And if what they hope to offer already exists in a similar shape or form, do it better. What is the most importanat thing you have learnt since starting your own business? You will get out what you put in. Working for yourself can be rewarding and challenging. But itâ€™s how you chose to experience it all. At the end of a challenging day, I remind myself of how blessed I am
Becoming a mother has made me a better woman, a better business woman.
Finally, what do you wake up looking forward to? I love waking up to my kid’s voices. I value my time and my worth a lot more now that I have kids. As long as I find joy doing what I do each day, I’ll keep at it. This year, I intend to incorporate more hand illustrations into my work. It’s a long lost love of mine and I can’t wait to revisit it. K