7 ad campaigns that blew our minds this year


Collaborations between big international brands and some of our favourite celebrities and local influencers have been nothing short of absolutely sublime this year. 

What makes these campaigns even more praiseworthy is that they really redefined what diversity and inclusive representations of beauty mean. 

Read more: Thando Hopa smashes conventional beauty norms

These had the biggest impact on us in 2017:

In no particular order...

Matte Nolim's Spring/Summer '18 Lookbook

Local designer Siyathemba Duma (aka Matte Nolim) wowed us with his immaculately executed Frill Matters collection modeled by Sudanese model, Anyon.

Styled (and directed) by Superbalist's Kelly Fung and photographed by Katinka Bester in a dreamy secret garden, this collection was the epitome of surrealism.

Colour-blocking red and pink has never looked classier. And given the chance, we would wear it daily just for the frill of it.

Read more: Local designer Matte Nolim's Spring/Summer 17\18 collection is what we want to wear now

H&M's 'My summer getaway' with Lulama Wolf

H&M dubbed local 'It' girl Lulama Wolf a style maven (indeed) and whisked her off to Corsica in the Mediterranean for a summer shoot earlier this year.

We couldn't stop refreshing her IG feed as she kept sharing her favourite H&M summer looks.

We were knee-deep in winter this side of the world at the time, but seeing a Mzansi fave do the most for an international brand made us warm and fuzzy inside.

And ICYMI, read more about the campaign here.

Havaianas Summer '17 starring Ayanda Thabethe

TV host and actress Ayanda Thabethe is currently fronting Havaianas' latest summer campaign shot by Themba Mbuyisa - conveying this season’s personification of 'endless energy', 'happiness' and 'spontaneity'.

The Brazilian brand is all about celebrating life and this year’s campaign shot in the vibrant Maboneng does exactly that. 

The gorgeous Miss Thabethe is a Durban girl, so it's only fitting that she be the star of a much-loved beach footwear brand, as she also says, "the brand’s fun and care-free approach to life fits perfectly into my lifestyle and compliments the woman I am."

The new Havaianas collection is available at all Havaianas stores in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

The beauty industry table has been shaken, flipped over, and laid out properly again ever since Rihanna launched her makeup range.

You know you did something more than right when global cosmetics brands who have been around for decades suddenly scramble to emulate what you have done within just a month of entering the industry.

Not only has Fenty Beauty proven it's possible to produce foundation in every shade (lightest to darkest), but it also introduced us to a diverse array of models who represent women all around the world. 

Curvy, dark-skinned, hijab-wearing, and queer women have all now been given a space in an industry which previously alienated them for being 'different'.

RiRi bbz, we're still shook!

Read more: Rihanna's makeup range will offer over 40 shades - celebrating every kind of beauty

Issa Rae for CoverGirl

Former YouTube star turned HBO series actress and director, Issa Rae also added 'face of CoverGirl' to her list of accolades when she fronted the makeup brand's new ads in September.

The Insecure leading lady announced her new gig in a heartfelt Instagram caption, which read; "I remember being an awkward black girl in high school, reading the pages of my favorite magazines, casually flipping through @COVERGIRL ads, singing their slogan in my head. Never EVER in my life did I imagine I'd be one. I am SO honored and SO excited for what’s to come. Visit @COVERGIRL to learn more #COVERGIRLMADE

From Insecure to Easy, Breezy, CoverGirl - I'd be lying if I said we're not inspired.

2018 Pirelli calendar featuring Thando Hopa

British photographer Tim Walker reimagined Alice in Wonderland for the 2018 Pirelli calendar with an all-black cast featuring Whoopi Goldberg, Naomi Campbell, Diddy, Duckie Thot, Slick Woods and local model-lawyer Thando Hopa (amongs many other international stars).

It's incredibly genius!

"Alice in Wonderland speaks of possibilities, and this interpretation said that Alice could be anybody, and for underrepresented people possibilities and dreams are important because when you are underrepresented you face the danger of conforming to stereotypes because that is all you see.

This calendar says, No, it doesn’t have to be that way,”  said Hopa.

To see the full 45th edition calendar, check this out.

Read more: South African model Thando Hopa appears in magical all-black cast Pirelli 2018 calendar

Versace's supermodel-studded Spring '18 campaign

2017 is the year Versace reminded us who the original supermodels are.

It all started when Donatella Versace staged a '90s supermodel reunion on the Milan Fashion Week runway in September. This was a tribute to the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace's death.

Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Carla Bruni and Cindy Crawford were all part of the nostalgic show, Fashionista reported.

And now Versace's latest ad campaign features Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bündchen, Irina Shayk, Christy Turlington, Natalia Vodianova, Raquel Zimmermann, Gigi Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Vittoria Ceretti, Cara Taylor, Birgit Kos, Grace Elizabeth and Noah Luis Brown.

Add to the list of iconic models, an iconic photographer and collaborator, Steven Meisel.

Animal print, Vogue print, metal mesh, and Kaia Gerber in that pastel blue ensemble have us all geeking over every shot.

'90s perfection revived!

Images: Getty & Supplied

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