ONCE upon a time, the copy of Vogue or Elle on your coffee table was full of unknown and unbelievably beautiful women that no one had ever heard of. Unless you were a supermodel who created her own brand like Elle MacPherson or Naomi Campbell, you were a nameless entity who was just employed to make the clothes look incredible and was paid handsomely for the privilege.
These days, every model worth their salt is a household name, from Arizona Muse to Freja Beha Erichsen and even the old familiars like Kate Moss are dabbling not only in fashion but other areas too. But in the last few years, designers have become tired of the same old supermodel faces and have started using people they think the public will relate to: celebrities.
In today’s climate, you’re not a celebrity unless you endorse something, and everyone is getting on the action. Jennifer Lawrence from the Hunger Games, after having a spectacular few months of Hollywood fame, has landed herself one of the biggest endorsement deals on the planet: becoming the face of Dior, following in the footsteps of big names Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman and Marion Cotillard.
Kristen Stewart, despite all the bad press she’s been receiving, has landed on her feet on the advertising front. The Twilight Saga star is the face of Florabotanica, a fragrance from Balenciaga and receives a huge paycheck for standing in her usual sullen way in a floral dress. Not my idea of good advertising but apparently it works!
Newlywed Blake Lively has had her fair share of endorsement deals but her adverts for Gucci Première has made her infamous. Wearing a gown that looks like she has been dipped in gold, girls in any way impressionable have tripped over themselves to buy the new perfume. Whether it smells good or not, the idea is every time they spray themselves, they’ll smell like Blake Lively. Who wouldn’t want that?
Even the men are getting in on the action Andre 3000 from Outkast is now strutting his manicured facial hair around for Gillette and I’m sure you’ve all seen the new adverts for Chanel No. 5 with Brad Pitt talking absolute muck to the camera about anything but the actual fragrance. The point of these celebrity advertisements is that it doesn’t matter what they say or do, as long as you’re famous, that’s all that matters.
But can this invasion of celebrity advertising be good for our pockets or minds? I, for one, would buy a product if it was Jennifer Lawrence or an unknown name modelling but this isn’t a case for many others. In a society as impressionable as ours is today and in a time when money means a lot more when you finally have some, is it fair for brands to tease us with this advertising, with the promise that once you buy it, you’ll be able to smell or look or strut like that celebrity on the pages of your magazine?
I say not! Bring back the days when the unknown wore the clothes we coveted or had the hair we wanted because at least then, we’ll be buying it for ourselves and not to look like an impossibly airbrushed movie star!