Los Angeles is more than sunshine, palm trees, and the Hollywood hills; it’s a state of mind that extends beyond geography while remaining firmly anchored to its trailblazer origins. It’s a city with a zeitgeist that inspires its residents to embrace what makes them authentic individuals. But, by giving them the freedom to pursue their dreams on their own terms, it has indelibly created a thriving culture populated with, and driven by, like-minded millennials.
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Los Angeles is living, breathing example that identity need not be prescribed or limited by categories of race, religion or gender. It isn’t about who or how to be—it’s about following your own internal compass and embracing a “Life Lived True.”
Through the continuation of its “Life Lived True” campaign that launched last year, Baxter of California is now delving even deeper into its exploration of modern masculinity—one that is inclusive of all expressions of masculinity. Next up, the brand turns its lens towards what defines, inspires and motivates a cross section of the many unique subcultures that together create the millennial ethos of LA: skate, surf, art, music and indie.
“Our vision of a life lived true continues to be about the lifestyles of the people by which Baxter of California's brand—and products—have been inspired. To us, grooming is much more than personal care—it’s about embracing your own imperfections and feeling empowered to make your own unique mark in the world,” says Baxter of California’s Global General Manager, Yann Joffredo. “We are all about connecting with individuals by telling powerful, authentic stories that are relatable and attainable to our consumers. How do we do that? By going back to our LA roots. Perfection is no longer the key to beauty in this industry—it’s about authenticity, celebrating individuality, and embracing different lifestyles.”
Beginning with a series of portraits and videos shot around the city, from iconic local spot Jimmy’s Burgers to infamous Sunset Boulevard to revitalized Downtown LA, this year’s exploration of “Life Lived True” shines a light on the aesthetics of these ambitious subcultures through five the city’s real-life creatives. With the expertise of 16-year barbering veteran and industry-innovator Julius “Julius Caesar” Arriola (@juliuscaesar) highlighting each subject’s style, Baxter of California's core belief that grooming is an act of self-expression was clear and present.
“I took the time to really try to understand the subcultures that Baxter of California's ‘Live Lived True’ campaign is representing,” Julius explains. “With these looks, I made sure not to alter the individuals away from their genuine ‘anything and everything goes’ lifestyles, but instead to bring their strong, unique features to the forefront. Nothing is worse than style that reads off forced—you can see the discomfort in it all. How one chooses to present themselves to the world through grooming is definitely a prominent expression of freedom and life lived true.”
Take, for instance, Rodney (@boydeus), a musician who Julius dubbed the “Sophisticated Jimi.” Even though he’s lived around the globe, his path inevitably landed him in Los Angeles, a city that’s given him the opportunity to chase his dreams in what he considers the big leagues. While staying true to his roots—which include a fashion-sense indebted to his grandfather’s closet—he’s learned to take rejection in stride—a unifying trait of LA's aspiring music community. Even though he may be doing his own thing his own way, he also knows that when he needs help, the city’s creative community will have his back.
“For Baxter of California, it was essential that we illustrate how each individual is living the truest version of his or her distinct life, while at the same time being drawn into the community of their larger subculture,” says Yasmin Dastmalchi, Baxter of California’s Global Head of Marketing. “Thanks to Julius’ expertise, passion and approach to grooming, this campaign is truly representative of Baxter of California's belief that modern masculinity should be non-binary, gender agnostic and blind to race and religion. Both he and our company believe that creative expression must always be free from stereotypes and judgement—Los Angeles isn’t about putting people in a box, it’s about tearing down walls.”
Baxter of California will continue to explore the campaign sub-communities of Los Angeles through a series of pop ups beginning June 2018 that will feature complimentary barbering and skincare services for men and women. Follow @baxterofca or visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com
ECD: Tom Philips
Art Director: Mitchell Lyne
Producer: Clark Jackson
Production Director: Sammy Green
Portrait Photographer: Ben Grieme
Videographer: Max Cutting & Sam Greene
BTS Photographer: Will Richter
Video Editor: Max Cutting
Hair (Cut & Style): Julius Caesar
Skin/Grooming: Ananda Tuyes