In an era when modelling has supposedly become diversified with fresh and interesting faces, relics of the 1980s age are landing top-notch ad campaigns. Madonna, at the age of 50, has shot for Louis Vuitton’s (LV) Spring/Summer 2009 collection and latest to join the bandwagon is American actress Jerry Hall, who has been signed in by designer Karl Lagerfeld himself for Chanel. Is this trend more about the powers of longevity of former stars or actually a sign of the sinking state of economy?
LV’s Sean Connery campaign was part of the company’s ‘Core Values’ campaign and Antoine Arnault, Head of Communications, says, “We are extremely proud that an actor of such immense stature should have agreed to participate in LV’s campaign.” Obviously, this campaign has more to with Sir Connery’s iconic value than his longevity and timeless appeal. However, the campaign involving Madonna definitely cashes in on her timeless appeal. The brand however states otherwise. LV’s designer Marc Jacobs states, “I wanted the campaign to be very bold, very sensual and very atmospheric. To carry off all these references and all this sophistication, we needed the ultimate performer — and for me, that is Madonna.”
Lagerfeld will be shooting a Chanel handbag campaign inspired by Colette’s Chéri novel, which focuses on the relationship between a young man and a woman almost twice his senior. The woman in the ad will be Jerry Hall.
“By falling back on aging icons, these A-list fashion houses are actually retrenching quite sharply in their marketing, opting for fashion comfort instead of exciting new eye candy,” states London-based fashion zeitgeist, Lynne Franks. She adds, “Time-honoured models have less to do with any ‘formidable powers’ on the part of the models and more to do with staving off a looming business crisis — a smart move by fashion labels facing an impeding crunch.” Obviously Lynne is also referring to former super model Christy Turlington who has been hired by Escada for their ad.
Back home, Sanjay Kapoor of Genesis Luxury that has license for brands like Canali, Kenzo, Just Cavalli and Paul Smith in India, says, “In times of recession, those brands which stand for timeless quality and have an iconic appeal stand a better chance than the momentary flash brands. Signing in these iconic celebs helps the brand make a brand connect.”