Blackface or a clever marketing campaign?
Imagine a female minstrel show with svelte legs and you might have the right image of this Astigu, a Japanese tights brand. The ads feature 11 good-looking Japanese models with short skirts showing off their legs. Familiar enough so far, perhaps, but then consider that the girls are all dressed in black — including their faces.
In most other countries, this would probably be too sensitive, though Japanese street fashion has the well-established “ganguro“, where girls would liberally apply dark tan to their faces.
The black is presumably meant to make a strong contrast with the girls’ legs — the focus of the ad — and to create an air of “mystery” (the campaign is called “the mysterious beautiful legs corps”). And we can also find some justification for it in the rather neat ad copy: Ashi wa kao (“your legs are your face”).
The main model is Astigu’s regular, Tao Okamoto.