Date Published (4.18.24)
Read Time 0 Min
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What Sofia Coppola Can Teach Us About Shifting Culture

Each generation seems to be defined by the single coffee table book you’re most likely to find in the trendiest homes from LA to NYC. 2004 opened the floodgates to Tom Ford’s monochromatic volume of works, while color-loving Gen Z-ers found comfort in various Assouline travel books. This week I walked into my neighborhood McNally Jackson in search of a fresh notebook when I saw the book that will no doubt define a generation: Sofia Coppola Archive.

It’s hard to miss the bubble gum pink cover both in store and on any number of your friends’ instagram stories. I had seen a handful of influencers and acquaintances alike posting their copy of the 488-page archive before watching the pure excitement of one girl’s face as she walked into the store behind me and was practically hit in the face with its front row placement. I’d probably smile if Sofia Coppola hit me in the face, too.

It wasn’t until watching this interaction that I picked up the book myself to finally see what all the hype was about. In a generation of micro trends and short attention spans, I try not to indulge in what the “girlies’” flavor of the week is unless I’m certain I’m not just buying it because Tik Tok told me to. But as a photographer and film fanatic myself, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to the works of the Original Girlie®.

Flipping through the pages I was immediately immersed back into the soft, pastel worlds Coppola so expertly crafts. The worlds that defined my girlhood. The candid photos of Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman in 16th century garb that ruled trendy Tumblr blogs in 2014 are immortalized in these pages—reminding us that Coppola was ahead of her time.

Images of Kirsten Dunst & Jason Schwartzman in pages of Sofia Coppola Archive

The girlies, their vibes, and their skincare lineups have never moved culture more than they do today. As Julia Fox proclaimed, “the girlies love the vibes and that’s just what it’s about.” If 2023 wasn’t already, 2024 is the year of the girlies, for the girlies—and pop culture is here for it.

From the economy-saving world tours of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift to the Barbie-fueled hot pink paint shortage, one thing became clear last year: female spending is powerful. And as a long-time Lost in Translation fan and proud new owner of the Sofia Coppola Archive, I’m ready to invest. In a conversation between Coppola and Lynn Hirschberg she reflects, “Across all my films, there is a common quality: there is always a world and there is always a girl trying to navigate it.” And in stark contrast to her father’s masculine worlds, Coppola truly started the renaissance that we are feeling today. The world as we know it has never been more confusing to navigate than it is now. Females have notoriously struggled to simply find equality even in the more mellow climates of history—but in the recession-fueled, war-stricken environment we try to navigate today, are women finally getting their flowers? Has the patriarchy finally fallen?

Probably not, but we have seen the tides start to shift already. While Coppola’s soft, modern take on the French Revolution’s defining girlie, Marie Antoinette, was met with mixed reactions in its 2006 release, 2023 saw the downfall of shows like The Idol, due largely to director Sam Levinson’s masculine take on the story. The less-than-satisfactory ratings proved that despite a star-studded production, today’s culture-drivers aren’t interested in seeing the world through a man’s eyes.

So what does this mean for a brand in 2024, especially one that is looking to market to women? Amidst a whirlwind of microtrends and girl-spending, your usual marketing tricks likely won’t cut it. We’re navigating a world where airbrushed is out and authenticity is in. Where Pamela Anderson attended Paris Fashion Week without a drop of makeup. Where Millie Bobby Brown wore a purple pimple patch on the Drew Barrymore show. Girls are showing up as their most authentic selves, and they’re only interested in supporting brands doing the same.

This doesn’t just mean casting a diverse group of models for your campaign. There’s a reason the Barbie movie was met with so much success—the uniquely confusing, traumatic, wonderful experience of girlhood has too often been painted as a shallow, simple existence wrapped in a bow. Stories like Barbie (and any Sofia Coppola film) offer a much deeper, complex commentary on what it means to be a girl navigating the world. One that has finally earned the female experience a place in pop culture. Finally made us proud to be girls. Brands that can tap into the very real experience of being a human, rather than feed us an idealized narrative of what our lives should look like, will prosper. Those that can stay true to their DNA, offer transparency in ingredients, materials, and practices, and find their voice in a whirlwind of passing trends, are the brands that will win the girlies’ hearts. So we can keep saving the economy and proving Laura Dern right: Women shall inherit the Earth.

Laura Dern scene from Jurassic Park

Photography by: Rielly Dunn

Behind the Byline:

Rielly Dunn is a Senior Copywriter with an insatiable curiosity for all things creativity. Her restless desire to create art in any form has led her to successfully craft copy and concept narratives across a span of industries, while her photography has been published in various publications like Vogue, Tatler Magazine, C-Heads Magazine, and more.


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