Simply Be has launched a bold rallying cry the summer calling for an end to bad fitting fashion. The campaign by integrated creative agency ODD is called “F-it" and sees the brand expanding beyond the perceptions of being a plus-size only retailer.
The campaign is fronted by four unique voices celebrating body diversity and championing, who are actively pushing the agenda forward within their communities and platforms.
The idea is a campaign in both senses of the word, calling for an end to the enemies of bad fit and unite women together through a bold play on the F word; designed to be read as F**k it and FIT.
Fronting the movement are four unique voices who celebrate body diversity, champion women, and have a meaningful point of view on fit. Naomi Shimada @naomishimada, Hollie May Saker @holliemaysaker, Tania Nwachukwu @tanianwachukwu and Trina Nicole @itstrinanicole.
Each of the cast members are known for actively pushing the agenda forward for women and opening the conversation on the issue of bad fit within their own communities and platforms.
To gain further insight into the bold campaign, we spoke with ODD creative directors Turham Osman and Zara Ineson about a campaign that goes beyond simply celebrating women’s bodies.
As Turham explains: “We wanted to create something with energy and attitude that shows our women we more than understand their frustrations and we're here to join them in saying enough is enough and provide a solution to combat the problems they've had to endure when it comes to fit.”
What was the brief?
Simply Be is not your typical fashion retailer. They have big ambitions to disrupt the category, innovate fashion and have a real point of view on the world. They came to us to help them move them from a plus-size brand to an inclusive space which welcomes all women to experience the liberation of fashion that truly fits.
How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?
The key to our process was down to build a truly inclusive team. Thinking culture first, there was a key tension we couldn’t ignore. Advertising continues to speak to women in a patronising way, placing emphasis on the individual to make a change, rather than the brand vowing to do better. Our approach was to push against these clichés and stand alongside women as an ally whilst they demand more.
Brands promise to do more for women on a surface level, but when it comes to walking the walk, they fail. We recognised the power of building an all-female team which truly understood the daily frustrations women feel when it comes to fashion.
Every member of our team in front and behind the camera shared a genuine passion for inclusivity, and had lived experiences of fit and specialisms in fashion. We were passionate about giving women a platform throughout the process, shining a spotlight on their talents and being truly collaborative.
What was the process behind ideating the concept?
We wanted to ensure our campaign reflected SimplyBe’s behaviour of acting differently from other fashion brands. We utilised SimplyBe’s rich heritage of creating pioneering clothes which fit all shapes and sizes to determine the enemy of a bad fit. Our ambition is to set SimplyBe up to be a market leader, which is why we decided to think bigger than a season and create a campaign where we could relentlessly demand better than bad fit.
Tonally we looked at the frustration that was at the core of the issue we were combating and looked at how people fight against things that frustrate them and what they do when they want change – as a result, tonally we started to adopt a revolutionary ‘esc’ way of talking.
Turning FIT into a double read of “F*** it” was a natural leap to capture the emotion of someone the moment before they stand up and say they’ve had enough of something.
We were also aware that lots of women who had struggled with fit issues previously had been excluded from certain fashion aesthetics and instead relegated to saccharine, positive quite soft “relatable” imagery – the notion of combining this revolutionary disruptive language alongside a contemporary fashion aesthetic started to create an exciting tension.
What was the production process like?
Fluid, intense but exciting. As always timelines were tight and to get to the end goal lots of different brains needed to come together to create a connected 360 campaign.
We started with what we wanted to say, broadly how we wanted to say it and a clear view of how it should look – but all the gaps in-between needed connecting by the right director, cast, photographer, stylist and product selection.
For us, casting was a key part of the production process. It was essential that we cast women not for their look and style, like so many brands out there, but for their authentic voices on FIT. We actively looked for individuals who inspire their communities on their platforms around the issues of FIT.
What was the biggest challenge during production? How did you overcome it?
Timelines and product selection. As always the ever ticking clock of the fashion advertising calendar loomed over us as an immovable deadline but compounded by the reactionary nature of fashion meant we had a tight window between getting our hands-on available products and bringing the idea to life.
Product selection was also something that required a lot of thought, balancing fashionability, a style that reflected the genuine aesthetic of our cast and a clear and immediate USP that fixed an issue of a bad fit.
All of Simply Be’s product solves issues of bad fit but finding the products that really nailed those obvious issues that would land in the few seconds someone passes a billboard required a lot of thought from selection right through to line writing and model pose/ camera work that made the USP really clear.
What’s the main message of this project and why does it matter?
The fashion industry has made women feel less-than about our bodies for too long, hating on ourselves when things pinch and pull. And for those over a certain size, compromising comfort for something that sort-of-fits is a daily issue.
Tapping into cultural tensions is the key to understanding the relationship women have with fashion in today’s world. Since the start of fashion, women have been made to feel like we need to fit into a certain size or silhouette to 'be in Vogue'. From corsets to skinny jeans we've been squeezing into catwalk styles and putting up with it.
Now in a post covid era, we have a new relationship with our wardrobes - a comfort first dressing. And SimplyBe is saying what we're all thinking: F-IT, our clothing should fit around us, just as we are.
How long did it take from inception to delivery?
We’d been working on the wider brand platform and strategy since late 2021 but the campaign itself was devised, executed and live within about 3 months.
What do you hope it achieves for the brand?
We want this campaign to put SimplyBe back on women’s radar with a fresh, exciting and important POV on fashion and fit. We also want to get across the message that no matter our size or shape, we shouldn’t have to squeeze into clothes.
Credit list for the work?
Executive Creative Director, Zara Ineson & Gus Mackinnon
Creative Director, Turhan Osman
Art Director, Laura Liggins
Copywriter, Chloe Laight
Strategy Director, Adele Meer
Planners, Abbey Gaunt
Account Management, Kathryn Bryan, Anna Vigerland, Jessica Muhl
Agency Producer, Louise Hawkes
Photographer, Leeor Wild @Laird & Good Co.
Director/ Production Co, Amy Becker-Burnett @ OB Management
Producer, Lucy Bradley
Editor, Matt Newman @ Trim
Post Production, Coffee & TV
Sound Design, Munzie Thind @ GCRS
Typographer Coffee & TV
DoP, Jack Reynolds