Seafolly has released photos of model Steph Claire Smith, who will serve as the new global face of the swimwear brand, months after it suffered backlash for the use of a non-binary influencer serving as a model.
It is the first large-scale campaign for the brand since the backlash for partnering with Deni Todorovič in March this year.
The current campaign, Back To Paradise, showed a beaming Steph Claire Smith, 29, flaunting her toned figure in a number of bikinis on Bondi Beach.
In one photo, Steph lazed on a surfboard in one of the brand’s bikinis which featured a graphic bandana top and matching bikini bottoms.
Another image showed Step flaunting her abs in a pink stripe triangle bikini along with a 70s-inspired graphic set in another image.
Seafolly has released photos of new global face of the swimwear brand Steph Claire Smith, 29, in its latest campaign, months after suffering a PR disaster after using a non-binary influencer Deni Todorovič to serve as a model. Pictured: Steph Claire Smith
In a statement, Seafolly alluded to Steph being the beach-loving, all Australian girl for the swimwear brand, touting her credentials as a wife, mother and businesswoman
In a statement, Seafolly alluded to Steph being the beach-loving, all Australian girl for which the swimwear brand was previously known.
‘Steph embraces and embodies the eternal Australian Summer spirit. Brimming with infectious optimism, she shares her passion for life with the world as an entrepreneur, model, mother and wife,’ it read.
The description continued: ‘Steph is an advocate for body confidence and mental health, inspiring women around the world to find their feel good.’
The current campaign, Back To Paradise, showed a beaming Steph flaunting her toned figure in a number of bikinis on Bondi Beach
‘Steph embraces and embodies the eternal Australian Summer spirit. Brimming with infectious optimism, she shares her passion for life with the world as an entrepreneur, model, mother and wife,’ it read
The description continued: ‘Steph is an advocate for body confidence and mental health, inspiring women around the world to find their feel good’
The stunner showed off a series of swimwear looks in the campaign
The campaign was worlds away from the fracas caused in March with influencer, Deni Todorovič, which almost saw a boycott of the brand.
Deni, 34, who uses they/them pronouns and identifies as non-binary, posed in lime green bikini bottoms and a matching cover near Bondi Beach.
‘This marks the first time iconic Aussie swim giants @seafollyaustralia have worked with a trans ambassador/brand partner,’ Deni innocently wrote under the image.
They later edited their caption to read: ‘Today we made history. This marks the first time iconic Aussie swim giants @seafollyaustralia have worked with a Trans person.’
The campaign was worlds away from the fracas caused in March with non-binary influencer, Deni Todorovič (pictured) which almost saw a boycott of the swimwear brand
Author and artist Alexandra Marshall (pictured) said it felt like the fashion brand was ‘mocking women’ with the use of Deni as a model
The photo caused a huge backlash including calls to boycott the brand, which in the past had used models such as Miranda Kerr and Gigi Hadid in its glamorous campaigns.
Writer Alexandra Marshall was one of those who had spoken out against the campaign, saying the swimwear brand was ‘mocking women’.
‘Bye @seafolly. Never again. Been buying swimsuits from you for many years. Never again,’ she posted on Twitter.
Seafolly later denied Todorovič was an ambassador for the brand, and said they were a ‘special guest’ to the brand’s World Pride event in Sydney.
‘We would like to address the recent coverage of Seafolly’s involvement with Sydney World Pride in which Deni Todorovič was invited as a special guest, and wore a custom, not-for-sale Seafolly design,’ the statement read.
Seafolly later denied Todorovič was an ambassador for the brand, and said they were a ‘special guest’ to the brand’s World Pride event in Sydney. Pictured: Deni Todorovič
‘On Saturday 4th March, Deni attended our in-store Sydney World Pride event as out special guest. We chose to host this event to inspire everyone to feel seen, included, and confident to be themselves at the beach.
They assured fans the face of the brand at that stage was model, Joanna Halpin.
‘This season our Global Ambassador and Face of the Brand is Joanna Halpin, a trail-blazing model and photographer.
‘We are passionate about supporting and uplifting women, and to broadening our representation of women living the Australian beach lifestyle.’
The statement concluded: ‘We stand proud that our brand is inclusive and supportive of all women, including the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond.’
Speaking exclusively to Daily Mail Australia, Deni claimed they warned Seafolly the company would be bombarded with threats and abuse as a result of the collaboration.
The brand had been known for glamorous campaigns featuring the likes of supermodel Gigi Hadid (pictured), who is one of the best known former faces of the label
‘I told Seafolly ‘I will have people say it’s iconic. But I will also have people tell me to kill myself, to burn in hell, that I’m a groomer, and that my mum should be ashamed,” Todorovič said.
‘I absolutely expected that, when I sat down with Seafolly, I prepped them for this,’ the model and stylist continued.
‘I told them, people will say ‘you’re trying to be woke, it’s tokenistic’. I told them to have a statement ready to go.
‘I’ve done it before with Bonds and David Jones. I feel very supportive and very prepared,’ they explained.
‘It all part and parcel of being a trans creator, and just being a trans person in Australia.’
Todorovič said the slurs directed at transgender people – such as ‘groomer’ and ‘paedo’ – echoed the attacks gay men faced in the past.
Deni later spoke out about the horrific trolling they experienced as a result of the campaign, saying it still ‘deeply hurt’ despite its predictability
Todorovič went on to explain the criticism still ‘deeply hurt’ despite its predictability.
‘The proud moment comes when I think about why campaigns like this are so necessary,’ they said.
‘We need queer people on TV, in parliament and in power. And not just queer people but trans people – in many parts of the world being a lesbian or gay is seen as okay, but being trans isn’t.’
Todorovič’s role as a model for Seafolly was celebrated by a number of celebrities, including the brand’s former ambassador Jesinta Franklin.
Many shoppers also left positive comments on Seafolly’s official Instagram account to celebrate the campaign.
‘As some one who hasn’t shopped at Seafolly for years I’ll be back now! Love seeing brands be inclusive and that is where I want my money to go,’ one woman wrote.
‘So amazing to see this, Seafolly. I love to see brands pioneering the celebration of pride and inclusion,’ another added.
Despite pushback, Deni’s role at Seafolly was celebrated by a number of celebrities, including former brand ambassador Jesinta Franklin, and other lovers of the brand