DOPE took an unconventional approach to drug awareness in the form of a clothing collection and a corresponding lookbook. Through social commentary on trends and the portrayal of drugs within commercial media, this collection aimed to be provocative and unsettling. DOPE’s overall purpose is to educate people of the destruction and true horror that comes within the world of heroin and opioids.
The main challenge with DOPE was to figure out how to bring the issue of drug abuse to light, in a way that is culturally consumable. Many drug awareness campaigns do not resonate with the audience and appear in stereotypical mediums such as posters and video commercials. We asked ourselves, ‘how might we make a more memorable drug awareness campaign? What medium(s) have we not yet seen this take place in?’
Many considerations were made and traditional approaches were taken at first to build the concept. Many of these initial concepts were ruled out relatively quickly, and we were able to hone in on fashion as the vehicle to communicate our message.
“Fashion often glamorizes drug abuse, with looks like heroin chic.”
Clothing is one of the most consumer-driven products as it is very trendy. It’s something we all have to consume every day. Fashion often glamorizes drug abuse, with looks like ‘heroin chic’. People pay attention to what’s cool,what’s in. Clothing felt like the right vehicle to take a stand and present the issue because clothing is such a part of the collective consciousness of consumerism. Brands like SUPREME and Adidas hold a certain social status and unite people. People pay attention to clothes, people pay attention to fashion. They’re not so much going to remember a poster, but clothing and fashion occupies a different mind space and is more memorable.
We decided we would be using the vehicles of beauty and consumerism to speak to the culture of today.