Swedish sportswear brand Houdini has always wanted you to put your phone down and go frolicking in nature — now it’s launching a bold new brand messaging initiative in case you needed some extra convincing. Entitled “Forward to Nature”, the narrative is the brand’s most ambitious yet, and is being launched with the release of a 65-second film.
Nature is life’s greatest designer. Imitating natural design has given humanity its most significant technological advancements to date — think maritime navigation, electricity, and flight. Houdini aims to take natural design one step further by combining it with state-of-the-art human technology to lessen the environmental impact of garment production — that’s what “Forward to Nature” is all about. As the film explains, “We need more design that considers life in all its complexity.” Houdini is well-positioned to address this issue, having already swum against the stream of the fashion industry by releasing the Mono Air, the world’s first fleece jacket engineered to prevent microfiber shedding — an immense step forward given that the textile industry is the largest known source of marine microfiber pollution. What’s more, the jacket’s design is open-source, available to download so that anyone can learn from it, and build upon it. If that isn’t forward to nature, we don’t know what is.
Houdini CEO Eva Karlsson shares that the campaign’s core message of looking to the future is reflected in the innovative technology used in the film. “We want to help reconnect people to nature but don’t think that going back in time is the solution. We believe that the solution is found when four billion years of natural innovation come together with human creativity”, she states.
Focusing on dynamism and circularity, the film features speed ramps, spins, motion blurs, and morphing which transform and rotate each visual into the next, creating a fluid and fast-paced environment into which viewers are beckoned. The movement of the frames highlights the complexities of modern living — humans are constantly in motion, blending between organic and artificial worlds, in a whirlwind cycle that starts and ends with nature. In order to bring its cyclical nature narrative to life, the brand enlisted the help of two creative powerhouses for the campaign’s creation: directing duo SOB and production company Spindle. The latter’s impressive portfolio includes work across all genres and platforms, for brands and companies including Google, Greenpeace, and Mercedes-Benz.
Founded in 1993 by keen mountain climber Lotta Giornofelice, the brand has grown considerably from its humble beginnings, and is now entering what Niclas Bornling, Houdini’s GM North America and head of global brand, calls a “fresh global brand acceleration”. And it doesn’t end there. Houdini is going full pedal to the metal and opening a brand-new flagship store right on Stockholm’s vibrant Kungsgatan at the end of October. Unlike its magician namesake, there won’t be any disappearing going on here any time soon.
Houdini Sportswear is available online now