As luxury brands get older, the celebrities they collaborate with are getting younger
Brand ambassadors: then and now
While more mature, established celebrities, who were deemed as carrying a bit more promotional pull, were once the brand ambassadors of choice for luxury labels, brands have now taken to partnering with millennials, in an attempt to attract younger, social media-savvy consumers. Here are a few prime examples:
Bulgari: From Julianne Moore to Bella Hadid (above)
When they were in their 40s and 50s, actresses Rachel Weisz and Julianne Moore starred in Bulgari campaigns. Decked out in the Italian brand’s fine jewellery and timepieces, their shoots were sensual and evocative. In 2017, the brand opted for a much younger face, choosing Palestinian-American model Bella Hadid to front its Roman Night fragrance and fall/winter 2017 accessories collection.
Estée Lauder: From Elizabeth Hurley to Kendall Jenner
American cosmetics company Estée Lauder gave British actress Elizabeth Hurley her first modelling job when she was 29 years old, and she remained the face of the brand until 2001. In 2014, Kendall Jenner signed with the brand, making her a markedly younger brand ambassador than previous Estée Lauder faces. Though Jenner fronted a collection called The Estée Edit, which targeted millennial consumers, the line was discontinued after only 16 months.
Dior: From Monica Bellucci to Rihanna
Italian actress and model Monica Bellucci was the face of Dior from 2006 to 2010, appearing in a number of ads promoting cosmetics, fragrances and the brand’s iconic Lady Dior handbag. Fast forward to 2015, when Rihanna joined forces with Dior for its Secret Garden campaign, making it the first Dior campaign to feature a celebrity of colour. A year later, the singer collaborated with the brand to produce a collection of futuristic sunglasses.
Tag Heur: From Uma Thurman to Cara Delevingne
American actress Uma Thurman became a brand ambassador for Swiss watchmaker Tag Heur in 2005. In her ads for the brand, Thurman appears relaxed and serene – a stark comparison to the campaign that would launch a decade later, starring model and actress Cara Delevingne, alongside a lion cub. After all, what better way to appeal to millennials than showing them a cute animal in the arms of a generational “it-girl”? Suffice to say, animal rights activists were not happy about the use of a lion cub as a prop. Later, Delevingne auctioned off her watch to raise funds for wildlife in Africa.
Givenchy: From Audrey Hepburn to Amanda Seyfried
The iconic Audrey Hepburn was a brand ambassador for Givenchy both on and off-screen – the “little black dress” she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a Givenchy design, and the brand’s “L’Interdit” perfume was created especially for her. The latest face of the fashion house’s fragrances is Hollywood’s Mean Girls breakout star Amanda Seyfried, who appears in campaigns for the “Live Irresistible” scent.
Chanel: From Ines de la Fressange to Willow Smith
Of all the French high fashion brands, Chanel has shown the most drastic evolution in terms of celebrity endorsements. French model and aristocrat Ines de la Fressange was muse to the brand in the 80’s, and the label has since turned to Hollywood starlets like Keira Knightly, Blake Lively and Kristen Stewart. Then, in 2016, a lucky, 15-year-old Willow Smith (daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith) landed campaigns with the brand.