Jaden Smith is known for stretching fashion boundaries, from rocking dress-like outfits to dressing up as Batman for the prom. But his newest campaign has the fashion world buzzing.
Smith, 17, is the newest face of Louis Vuitton’s women’s line and he's making headlines for wearing a skirt in the company’s new Spring/Summer 2016 ad campaign.
“Thank You So Much @louisvuitton And @nicolasghesquiere For The Opportunity To Impact This World,” he wrote on Instagram.
“You are seeing an evolution, and we’re also seeing fashion do what fashion loves to do which is to play with our expectations, to tug on our prejudices, and to surprise us,” Robin Givhan, fashion editor for The Washington Post, told ABC News.
In the press release from Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière, the artistic director of women's collections, wrote, “Why does Jaden Smith star in this campaign? He represents a generation that has assimilated the codes of true freedom, one that is free of manifestos and questions about gender. Wearing a skirt comes as naturally to him as it would to a woman who, long ago, granted herself permission to wear a man's trench or a tuxedo. Jaden Smith 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. That really inspired me in the creative process for this collection."
“We decided a long time ago it is sort of better to flow with how people are naturally more than what our egos need them to be,” he explained.
And in June, Jaden Smith told GQ magazine, “I’m just expressing how I feel inside, which is really no particular way because everyday it changes how I feel about the world and myself.”
People on social media seem to have differing opinions on the ad campaign.
“He is honestly revolutionary for breaking down gender roles and getting media attention to raise awareness,” wrote one advocate.
“Jaden Smith was featured in Louis Vuitton’s latest womenswear ad and I think it’s fabulous,” another wrote.
Some people have angrily objected to the campaign, saying they’re perplexed by the ads and wondering what statement is really being made.
“This comes at a time when culturally we’re thinking about what gender actually means and you are also seeing the fashion industry playing with this idea of not unisex dressing, but a kind of genderless dressing,” Givhan said.