Tearsheet for Eileen Fisher clothing brand

The Image Source Monitor (ISM) examines the photography used in current advert for clothes brand Eileen Fisher. Yoga pose? There are wider messages that plug into deeper image trends that photographers may want to note

The photo of a woman sitting crossed-legged, dressed in black/grey, poised, hair blowing delicately in the direction of her vision, as she looks into the middle distance. What makes this kind of image more usable, and more powerful, is the muted, neutral background which adds to the psychological message but also makes it usable beyond the health/wellness sector. This model is wearing Eileen Fisher clothes, so it’s a bespoke shot, but it’s the visual styling that would give this kind of shot broader usage.

For the last few years, the ‘yoga pose’ has proved a highly-effective marketing image for communicating ‘spirituality’, ‘balance’, ‘inner strength’, that works beyond the social trend for yoga/pilates classes.

This photo for Eileen Fisher’s current campaign suggests that this kind of imagery has an even wider appeal.

On Eileen Fisher’s site, she (the woman behind the name) reveals some of the thinking behind the brand, which is built around a wider social vision of women, beauty and sustainability. There are a series of ‘sustainability’ stories on the website which don’t feel like greenwashing – talking about design as ‘a practice not just a product’ which among other things means being attentive to ‘supply chain impact’.

Eileen Fisher’s vision blends the visual with the social, “I believe that dressing should be simple. I’ve always been inspired by uniform systems of dressing: school uniforms, the Japanese kimono, men’s suiting. Universal shapes that are easy to wear and easy to combine in new ways allow us to focus on what matters most.”

The message is this: By Looking Inward You’re Looking Outward. The yoga photo is no longer just about personal psychology, balance. The efficient body of Yoga now also alludes to wider efficiency, equilibrium and sustainability. The imagery of balance is now personal and social.  The visual messages are broader, deeper and more engaging.

Shooting and buying the classic yoga image has just got much more interesting. Cast an eye on the images below, and imagine how they might subtly sit with broader social messages.

Image Source / RM – Patryce Bak
Image Source RM / Able Images
Image Source RM / Robert Harding World Imagery

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