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  • Writer's picture Salon Aguayo

Baxter of California Explores Modern Masculinity

Iconic men's grooming brand celebrates Angelenos who are living life true.

Los Angeles is a city of dreamers, young men and women who are defined not by their race or religion, but by identities that have been formed by their instincts, their journeys, and the city they call home.

Baxter of California, a brand born in LA from its founder's independent spirit, sought to reimagine its position in men's grooming through provoking, real stories and cultural observations that connect with evolving trends, preferences, and lifestyles.  The resulting brand campaign, "Life Lived True," is an honest depiction that grounds the brand in a modern California culture through a lens that is inclusive of all expressions of masculinity—modernmasculinity.

"The world is discovering now what Baxter of California has channeled since its birth in 1965. 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, unafraid of stereotypes or judgments.  Venturing beyond the ordinary is in the brand's DNA, where expertise, heritage and trends collide," Yasmin Dastmalchi,Baxter of California's Global Head of Marketing.

The brand teamed up with agency of record Exposure America and photographer Ben Griemeto introduce "Life Lived True" in the city it has called home since 1965—Los Angeles. The series of portraits, accompanied by scenic imagery, shine a light on the diverse subjects, cast from the streets of LA—true to the spirit and culture of this city. 

From the brand's own female barber to a fencing pro, the raw photography showcases how the subjects live their lives true, fueled by passion inherent to who they are.

Another subject, LA-native Todd Baron resigned from his mediocre desk job in pursuit of his passion; he packed up his stuff, left his 1-bedroom apartment in the Valley, and moved into a van parked at Venice Beach, with nothing but his surfboard and a bag of clothes. Todd took a leap of faith—with financial implications—to become a surf instructor. Now, living his life true, Todd feels invigorated and free of societal pressures—a spirit that translates on camera through his confident stance and strong sense of self.

Like Todd, Angelenos are bound together by their urge to push beyond social constructs and live their lives according to nobody's rules. To them, imperfection is perfection. They embrace individuality. 

It was important for the brand that this honest, authentic spirit of California culture was captured not only by the subjects' stories and their environments, but also through their unique styles and grooming habits. The brand enlisted the help of Baxter of California Lead Stylist, Whitney VerMeer, to get the job done.

"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 or intriguing look - most don't have a modeling background in any capacity. There's something really beautiful about watching a person transform behind camera and see their confidence blossom throughout the process. It was easy to appreciate the fresh approach and styling of this Baxter of California shoot since it's very much in line with what I do," Whitney VerMeer, Baxter of California Lead Stylist and NAHA 2017 Men's Hairstylist of the Year.

"Life Lived True is about being honest with yourself, embracing your imperfections, and not being afraid to showcase who you are as you experience life. This campaign aims to show our consumers that we will never be a brand that wants to dictate who they should be or how they should live their lives. Baxter of California wants to be a partner on your journey, empowering you to make your unique mark on the world by living freely and authentically," notes Baxter ofCalifornia's Global General Manager, Yann Joffredo.

Baxter of California. Grooming to Live Life True.

Credits: Client: Baxter of California (@baxterofca) Agency: Exposure Creative Agency (@exposureamerica) Photographer: Ben Grieme (@bengrieme) Lead Groomer: Whitney VerMeer (@whiteneyvermeer) Supporting Groomer: Ananda Tuyes (@ananda_tuyes)

ABOUT BAXTER OF CALIFORNIA Since 1965, Baxter of California has been a pioneer in understanding and meeting men's grooming needs. Founded by Baxter Finley amidst an era of freedom and self-expression, the brand continues to operate with the same individualistic mindset today, providing grooming essentials to men of all generations.

Baxter of California's curated range of hair, shave, skin grooming essentials and lifestyle products are all tried and tested by Master Barbers at the award-winning Baxter Finley Barber & Shop in Los Angeles, for quality and versatility, to provide consumers with everything they need to confidently be who they are.

We are here to fuel your best self and unleash what makes you, you. Baxter of California. Grooming to Live Life True.

For the latest Baxter of California news and grooming tips, follow @baxterofca or visit

ABOUT EXPOSURE: Exposure is a creative agency working in New York, London and Tokyo to connect brands with culture. Driven by a belief in the intelligence of humanity, undefined by geography or demographic, Chief Creative Officer Tom Phillips creates brand content that engages audiences with honest and provoking visual stories and cultural observations.

SOURCE Baxter of California

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