Nokia came to mean a lot to an entire generation because it was fashionable. As they became a regular element of our school bags, a mobile phone was the accessory and none was more fashionable than one bearing a Nokia. And it couldn’t be any Nokia of course, it had to be the latest. Thus schoolyard talk was littered with aspirational put downs of the month old Nokia 6800 as the Nokia 6900 had replaced it. Those were the days. Phones were were just phones, smart phones were rubbish, there was nothing to do on the Internet let alone any way to use it on your phone, no one cared about Apple and every young life of vanity cared about Nokia. As a twenty-something it’s far too early to reminisce about those days, and yet Nokia is. Like a middle-aged man deciding between a Ferrari 599 or an Aston Martin Vantage, Nokia is trying to get its grove back. It’s trying to become fashionable again.
And it’s being far more literal about it this time around. Sure, the changeable face plates Nokia offered up were something of a stroke of genius, but if there was a literal association between Nokia and ‘fashion’ way-back-when I never encountered it. As Nokia again tries to become fashionable in the face of the Apple’s iPhone juggernaut, the ties are more direct. That’s why the Nokia Lumia 900 is launching with many a fashion tie-in. Gone are the face plates, but in is an array of colours that could dot the racks of any high-street retailer. So strong are those colours that Nokia see their potential far from the your local mobile phone store – look hard enough and you’ll find them as nail varnishes. You’ll also find them as the muse for fashion photo shoots sponsored by Nokia. That’s at least one approach to the marketing of the Lumia range that Nokia is taking in South Africa, where they’ve featured the colours along sides the threads of local designers.
Loud & Luminous – photographed by Steve Marais and styled by Jessica Lupton – is the fashion photo shoot turned into an obvious vehicle for advertising. Which is nothing new – old media titles such as Vogue have long reserved photo shoots as a tool for increasing their advertising partners’ exposure – it’s just far less concealed.