In real life, there is no such thing as ‘Combat Appeal’ and fashionistas need to get with the program. Even the notoriously apolitical American Vogue is now leading the charge against flagrant abuses in our rights by the Trump administration. There’s a difference between obsessive political correctness — which AOC detests — and challenging ourselves to reframe simple statements like ‘Combat Appeal’ in an embrace of utilitarian, unisex dressing that doesn’t celebrate war. We give you one example:
Model Cato van Ee is styled by Miki Sessa in images by Gilles Bensimon for ELLE Italia January 17, 2019.
With money tight in magazines, ELLE Italia could promote these same fashion images with a cover headline that said ‘New Combat Zones’. Inside, they could have a text page that celebrates Doutzen Droes and Behati Prinsloo with a brief update on their work against elephant and rhino poaching. And they could do a quick intro to two women seriously involved in ‘combat’ to save big game in Africa:
Both women have military backgrounds, with Faye Cuevas now leading the charge against elephant poaching in Kenya, and arms trafficking expert Kathi Lynn Austin taking on the illegal gun trafficking industry. The original ‘Combat Appeal’ fashion headline gets a 2019 update that no longer makes war glamorous — which it is NOT and NEVER was. ELLE Italia devotes a few short paragraphs to celebrating models and non-glam women fighting to save big game.
In the case of Cuevas and Austin, the magazine briefly educates readers. Hey, they could even link back to AOC online, in a way of supporting small websites. So there! We have an editorial fix that resonates deeply.
Millennials and even younger readers are not amused by fashion celebrating war. Their values are not in some stylish handbag that they wear on certain occasions. Their fusion brains are always evaluating the totality of a brand’s DNA and messaging, and that includes magazines. If magazines can’t honor this growing shift in consumption consciousness, they will die. ~ Anne