NARS Cosmetics turns 20 this year, and it’s celebrating with a brilliant but unconventional choice of cover girl: 68-year-old British actress Charlotte Rampling.
NARS founder and creative director François Nars told WWD that Rampling has long been one of his muses.
“She is a natural beauty that feels strong, yet relatable,” he said.
While Rampling’s talent and strength of character are important selling points, her age is of benefit to the brand, too. As ELLE’s Natalie Matthews points out:
Rampling’s age … aligns the brand with a face that’s an institution instead of a newbie, a great strategic choice for them as they usher in a milestone birthday.
Ageism is still a pervasive problem in our culture, and we like that using models who deviate from the standard “look” can be beneficial for a brand. Models who get work beyond the age of 30 are rare, but they appear to be having a moment. American Apparel shocked us with its choice of 62-year-old lingerie model Jacky O’Shaughnessy, and The Row has used 64-year-old Lauren Hutton and 65-year-old style icon Linda Rodin in its lookbooks recently. Rampling even modeled for Marc Jacobs 10 years ago, at the age of 58, wearing only silk shorts and a fur stole. She’s still as sexy as she was at 24.
“I remember Dirk Bogarde referencing Charlotte’s ‘fabled look’ because of the combination of her beauty and withering gaze. This is what makes her an endlessly watchable mystery.”
From what we can see of her past and current work, Rampling’s steady, captivating gaze has not changed since the 60s.
According to WWD, Rampling will appear in a black-and-white, portrait-style image shot by founder François Nars that is expected to be released in September for the brand’s anniversary. We fully expect an unprecedented degree of smoldering.
Photos via WENN, Getty