German fashion label Hugo Boss has launched an online open call for aspiring models to star in its upcoming fashion show amid a growing trend of designers recruting the public to embody their brands.

Boss is looking for a male as well as a female model to walk the runway during Berlin Fashion Week, January 21.

The brand is exclusively using its Facebook profile for the search and is even calling on the site's community to vote for their favorites. The two winners of this public voting will be invited to the final casting together with eight more candidates chosen by Hugo Boss.

Adding to this 'democratization' of Hugo Boss is the announcement of a live stream of the fashion show on Facebook, pioneered by other international brands including Louis Vuitton.

The open call comes as part of a trend that saw labels such as Sean John, Calvin Klein (9 Countries 9 Men), or Baby Gap call for 'citizen models' to appear in their fashion ads in 2009. French brand Comptoir des Cotonniers employs 'real' mothers and daughters for its ads and fashion shows, and the equally French hipster label The Kooples has been recruiting the regulars of the Parisian nightlife to star in its magazine-inspired catalogues.

One of the undisputedly most spectacular examples, however, was lingerie label Victoria's Secret's fashion show at the beginning of this month that for the first time featured the winner of a public contest, who had been coached for weeks in a 'model boot camp.'

Whether this phenomenon is due to financial constraints or the increasingly 'open' approach in the fashion industry remains unclear, but the fact is that most labels are increasingly relying on social media and active participation of all kinds to boost their sales.

Site: www.facebook.com/hugoboss

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