One of New Zealand's more masculine brands has extended its band of brothers-style advertising to place a woman front and centre.

Featuring influencer and model Laura Evans, dressed in a suit, fiercely staring down the camera, the new Hallenstein Brothers campaign gives a nod to the women who also wear its clothing.

This does not mean Hallensteins will be introducing a range of women's suits. The suit worn by Evans is a tailored skinny fit suit, which is already available on the shelves at the stores.

Carrying the tagline "The Power of the Suit", the campaign instead drives home the point that suits aren't exclusively masculine.


"The sentiment attached to wearing a suit comes from the person wearing it," Hallensteins general manager Glenn Hunter says.

Hunter notes that diversity has long been important to the brand, which makes a point of using a racial mix across its catalogues and also doesn't shy away from models who might have tattoos.

"We've always been an inclusive brand and strongly believe the feeling that comes with wearing a suit should be accessible to anyone," Hunter says.

This is a significant shift for a brand that has in recent years featured a clan of suited men travelling to various destinations around the world.

The previous advertising was entertaining and beautifully shot, but it left little doubt the company was menswear brand aimed at younger men, looking for an affordable touch of style.

THE POWER OF THE SUIT Freedom | Power | Confidence #hallensteinbrothers

Posted by Hallenstein Brothers on Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The new campaign reiterates this positioning, featuring a group of handsome young men, including long-time Hallenstein favourite Jay Alvarrez, but the introduction of Evans opens its retail doors to women.

"We want anyone and everyone to feel comfortable and welcome walking into a Hallenstein Brothers store," Hunter says.

It's a sentiment that has already struck a chord with some consumers, who have taken to Instagram to applaud the company for acknowledging the young women who also shop at its stores.


Writing under an image of the campaign, one Instagram user noted: "As a chick who has been wearing your threads for a few years now this is great to see! I always feel so looked down at and judged when I'm in store buying clothes! So always just end up buying online which is always hard to find the right size and know the quality of the product! Darn happy that you guys are registering that a lot of girls shop here too."

However, at a time when the issue of gender identity has become a contentious political issue, the campaign could also invite criticism from consumers who may not share these progressive values.

Asked whether he was worried the campaign might alienate some customers on account of taking a stance on inclusivity, Hunter said he wasn't concerned because the campaign captures the company's brand values.

"We decided to work with Laura as she embodies the values that Hallenstein Brothers represents, with the right mix of confidence and attitude.

"This representation of 'brotherhood' extends beyond gender, and Laura is a strong contemporary female, and she encapsulates the emotion of the campaign."