Jaden Smith thinks he’s breaking sex barrier with androgynous fashion ad, but he’s no David Bowie

The latest campaign for Louis Vuitton womenswear features Smith, son of Hollywood star Will Smith, in a skirt alongside female models. In the world of fashion and entertainment, that’s not a new look

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 January, 2016, 3:46pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 January, 2016, 3:53pm

Challenging gender stereotypes is a hot topic in fashion thanks to designers such as Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane, who have been dressing boys like girls (and vice versa) for several seasons.

The latest designer to jump on the bandwagon is Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquiere, who enlisted 17-year-old Jaden Smith to star in the brand’s recently launched Series 4 womenswear advertising campaign.

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“[Smith] represents a generation that has assimilated the codes of true freedom, one that is free of manifestos and questions about gender… [he] conveys something very interesting about the integration of a global wardrobe. He’s found an instinctive balance that makes his extraordinary attitude a new norm,” Ghesquiere said in a statement.

In the campaign, Smith, who is the son of Hollywood stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, is photographed alongside three girls in an urban street scene. He looks like another member of the gang dressed in a pleated skirt, crochet top and leather jacket, with his hair piled on top of his hair. The images were shot by high-profile fashion photographer Bruce Weber and have been clogging fashion media channels ever since they were unveiled last week.

For some, it’s hard to see what the fuss is all about. Men dressing in women’s clothes isn’t exactly a new phenomenon – David Bowie led the way back in the 1970s and singers like Prince have followed suit. Even hypermasculine soccer star David Beckham has been seen in a skirt. Gender fluidity continues to make headlines today thanks to celebrities like Miley Cyrus and films such as The Danish Girl. This isn’t the first time a fashion house has explored gender boundaries, nor will it be the last.

It seems that the real winner in all of this is Smith, who up until now has found little fame with a mediocre rapping and acting career. On Instagram, he thanked Louis Vuitton for giving him the opportunity “to impact this world”. Only time (and his Instagram likes) will tell the true story.