The fall ad campaign of Suistudio, a company that makes suits for women, has gone viral for featuring faceless naked dudes as background imagery. The campaign’s tagline simply states: “Not Dressing Men.” It’s a gender-swapped take on men’s fashion photography that has long used naked women as dehumanized props for seemingly powerful men.
In the photos, the men are face down, blurry, cut partially out of the frame and almost seem like the women’s possessions, no different from the fur blankets and cushions surrounding them.
The men’s inclusion undeniably brings extra attention and sexual allure to the ad campaign, but the women remain boldly in the foreground. In most of the shots, they look directly at the camera as if to say, “Yeah, I own a naked dude. And I look good in this suit. So what?”
Their suits run about $600 to $800, making them sorta high end. But then again, any woman who can afford a naked man laying on the leather couch in her fancy apartment can probably afford an $800 suit.
Here are Suistudio’s ads featuring naked men:
Lounging in style
A bare-skin rug
Just a statue in the background
“Opulence. I own everything.”
Those earrings though
The presence of women of color in the ad campaign adds another dimension of challenging traditional power hierarchies. It’s not often that we see black women standing powerfully over white male bodies.
Although tailored suits are often regarded as professional menswear and are often widely available only in men’s sizes, there has been a gradual shift towards creating such apparel for women’s and non-male bodies.
A few years back, queer fashion designer Leon Wu came up with the concept of “andropometics,” a method of taking measurements “based on gender identity and queer style.” Wu uses andropometics to custom tailor suits regardless of body type or gender identity at their company, Sharpe.
The move toward unisex and androgynous style has even compelled some department stores have gotten rid of men’s and women’s sections altogether.