Yesterday the French design house Céline announced critically acclaimed American writer Joan Didion as the face of their latest ad campaign. The ad was shot by Juergen Teller and everything about the photograph exuded understated elegance; a classic style that will continue to stand the test of time. Céline is not the first fashion house to star an older model / actor or actress / famous figure; but rather, one of several various designers within the past few years.
In 2013, Cole Haan celebrated their 85th anniversary and launched their campaign called “Born in 1928.” The campaign featured four beautiful black-and-white portraits of well-known 85 year olds as well as short videos of the persons telling personal anecdotes. Two of the stars were “Inaguaral Poet” Maya Angelou and “Model and Fashion Editor” China Machado. Angelou discussed in her video that “Words meant so much to me, I am intertwined with them.” Machado reminisced on her career and tells the viewers, regardless of her age she still wears her skirts above the knee because “I got great legs so I show them!”
For the Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2014 campaign, 70-year-old French actress and style icon Catherine Deneuve is the leading lady. Deneuve was one of six hand picked designer’s muses and was photographed with the extremely rare show bag NN14 Les Extraordinaires. Deneuve has also been featured in several other Louis Vuitton ads which makes perfect sense since they both share an air of luxury and the elusive je ne sais quoi which the French are known for.
February 2014 brought the announcement of Jessica Lange, 64, as the new face of Marc Jacobs Beauty. Then in August, NARS announced 68-year-old Charlotte Rampling as the face of their beauty campaign.
As you can see, Joan Didion is just a continuation of the campaign trend featuring older faces. And in my opinion, it is no ploy. Fashion is merely trying to show its audience: age is but a number and that beauty is timeless. With age comes wisdom, grace, and poise that can only be learned through time. Young girls and young women can look at these ads and be reminded of their mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. They can look up to these older women and see role models of who they hope to be a few decades down the road.