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How the 2016 Equinox Campaign Paved the Way for “The White Fox” Kristin Hoppe

Photography by Steven Klein

Published on May 14, 2020

A cult has gathered in a forest, preparing for a ritual. Pale haired men and women greet the dawn in an eerie photo that captures the imagination. Many things come to mind when one looks at the photo, but an advertisement for a luxury fitness club probably wasn’t your first thought.

The beautiful photo featuring the international model, “The White Fox” Kristin Hoppe, and shot by Steven Klein, is one of many provocative photos in this advertising campaign. Other photos include a woman breastfeeding twins in a busy restaurant, orgies, and a crazy cat woman with dozens of hairless cats.

For Kristin Hoppe, this advertising campaign ended up being more than just another photo shoot. It represented her first major break in modeling. Nicknamed, “The White Fox,” due to her white-blonde hair, Hoppe was signed with Ford Models Los Angeles at the time she was asked to join the campaign.

Her break in the 2016 Equinox campaign came relatively early in her career. Before the Equinox campaign, she appeared in “Hollywood Temptations” (2013) and “Germany’s Next Top Model” (2006). The campaign launched her into international recognition and allowed her to go on to appear in Allure, Glamour Bulgaria, Vogue, and Glamour Mexico, among other publications.

The series of seven photos ended up being a resounding success, so much so that Equinox chose to use the same tag line again in 2017, and once again tapping iconic fashion photographer Steven Klein for the photo shoots. His sharp understanding of fashion, photography, and even the models selected for the campaign may be part of why it ended up being so successful for Equinox.

The theme behind these photos is “commitment,” something that you need to have if you are to maintain any level of fitness. Rather than show this through lifting weights or running on the treadmill, Equinox chose to depict commitment through alternatives, often controversial ones.

The campaign sparked a lot of debate among the internet community, with some people praising it for taking on controversial topics. In contrast, other people were merely confused about what a gathering of light haired men and women in a forest had to do with joining a luxury fitness club.

Although the campaign garnered more positive comments than negative ones, Equinox seemed to be prepared for those who wanted to complain about the seemingly mismatched advertising. Chief Marketing Officer Carlos Becil said, “This is really a call for action, asking people to make a commitment. We don’t care what the commitment is, but we’re asking people to step up.”

That campaign tag line could also be Kristin Hoppe’s motto. She continues to take the fashion world by storm with her charismatic personality and trademark white blonde hair. Her current work walking down the catwalk of her favorite fashion brands is a far cry from this early advertisement. However, it still echoes the encouragement to commit she celebrated in one of her first major photo shoots.

Senior Writer