The term "lady" certainly feels pretty antiquated. But in H&M's latest campaign commercial, the dated word gets a cool, thoroughly modern interpretation — with a Lion Babe cover of Tom Jones' "She's A Lady" as the soundtrack. Despite actually being written about a man, the song has some off-putting, sexist messaging: "She always knows her place" and "she's never in the way" are both lyrics in the song. So, it's cool to see the tune given a more empowering, subversive edge via the clip's diverse casting and awesomely "unladylike" activities: picking food out of one's teeth using a knife as a mirror; "manspreading" on the subway; and authoritatively helming a meeting (that's filled with mostly men).
The ad stars models Adwoa Aboah, Hari Nef, Heather Kemesky, Iselin Steiro, Neelam Gill, and Katy Syme, plus Lion Babe's Jillian Hervey, actress Lauren Hutton, and boxer Fatima Pinto. Also featured in the commercial: Pum Lefebure, cofounder and chief creative officer of graphic design firm Design Army, artist Cajsa Wessberg, photographer and model Arvida Byström,and Pernille Teisbaek, fashion director and stylist.
The eclectic cast of women is aptly billed by H&M as "entertaining, opinionated, off-beat and fearless...bad-ass, independent and free-willed." On September 21, the refreshing take on what it means to be (or look like) a "lady" will start airing on TV. In the meantime, check out the small-screen spot below.