Los Angeles is a town of dreamers and dream chasers. Come for the weather; stay to find yourself. This sprawling city encompasses people of all different backgrounds and identities, lifestyles and hustles, and it’s the only place we know of where driving an hour in any direction can land you at the beach, the mountains, or in the hectic center of it all.
Here at Baxter of California we know that grooming products are a tool for living. Since its birth in Los Angeles in 1965, Baxter has sought to be a part of your journey, never dictate which path you take. Rather than cater to trends with a short shelf life, we focus on producing simple, useful, quality products that bring out the individual—to showcase who you are as you experience life. Our new campaign celebrates Angelenos who are living life true. Trying to be something or someone you aren’t is exhausting — Life Lived True is our unfiltered depiction of modern masculinity grounded in California culture. What defines modern masculinity? Nowadays it’s not so one-dimensional. It’s everything and it’s nothing; “masculine” is whatever it means to you. It’s being real, being honest with yourself, celebrating who you are and embracing those unique qualities that make you you. “Modern masculinity is about more than just your physical appearance—it’s an expression of self that is non-binary, gender-agnostic, and blind to race or religion; a way of living bravely,” Global Head of Marketing Yasmin Dastmalchi expounds. “Venturing beyond the ordinary is in the brand’s DNA.”
We teamed up with photographer Ben Grieme to introduce Life Lived True in the city that Baxter of California has called home for over 50 years. The series finds its inspiration in real people cast from the streets of Los Angeles, all with little-to-no modeling experience. From a professional fencer, to the brand’s own female barber, to an LA-native who quit his desk job, packed up and moved from a 1-bedroom apartment into a van parked at Venice Beach, with nothing but his surfboard and a bag of clothes—the diverse subjects are bound together through their embrace of authenticity. The portraits, amplified by the scenic backdrop of the city—the urban sprawl next to undeniable natural beauty—result in something quintessentially LA that’s true to the spirit and culture of this city and its population. With their urge to push beyond social constructs, unhindered by stereotypes or expectations, Angelenos live their lives according to their own rules.
The independent spirit of California culture is also illustrated by the subjects’ unique styles and grooming habits. We enlisted the help of Baxter of California Lead Stylist, Whitney VerMeer, to help tell these stories and convey the fresh approach. “I work with a lot of career models, but my favorite projects are the ones where I cast people from Instagram or someone I pass on the street who has an interesting look. There’s something really beautiful about watching a person transform behind camera and see their confidence blossom throughout the process.”
Life Lived True is about embracing the perfection in imperfection—unafraid to be true to who you are, out here living and not caught up with what people think. Baxter of California provides the everyday essentials that you wear out into the world, empowering you to find your true stride and make your own mark.