Though luxury brands are getting older, their celebrity ambassadors are getting younger.
In the rise of social media, times have certainly changed when it comes to celebrity endorsements and brand ambassadors. Luxury labels used to fight over having Hollywood’s most mature and sophisticated celebrities as the face of their brand, but those days seem to be over as more and more labels are trading in established celebrity partners for young millennial influencers who can help them reach younger consumers.
Italian brand Bulgari is famous for its glamorous gemstone jewellery, luxury watches, perfumes and leather goods. Actresses Rachel Weisz and Julianne Moore both starred in sensual campaigns for the luxury label when they were in their 40s and 50s. Nearly 10 years later, the brand opted for a much younger face in 21-year-old model Bella Hadid who helped push their Roman Night fragrance and fall/winter 2017 accessories collection. Since then, Bulgari has went on to introduce their youngest brand ambassador to date in 15-year-old model and songwriter Koki who is the daughter of celebrated Japanese actor and singer Takuya Kimura.
American cosmetics company Estée Lauder is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrances and more. British actress Elizabeth Hurley landed her first modelling job at 29 years old when she partnered with the prestigious brand and she remained the face of Estée Lauder until 2001 when she was 36-years-old. In 2014, 19-year-old Kendall Jenner was brought on board as a noticeably younger brand ambassador than previous faces for the label. Then in 2018, model Karlee Kloss joined the growing list of Estée Lauder ambassadors and became the new face of the 72-year-old brand at 25-years-old.
French luxury goods company Christian Dior has worked with a number of famed celebrities to help push their renowned label. From 2006 to 2010, Italian actress and model Monica Bellucci appeared in numerous Dior campaigns promoting cosmetics, fragrances and handbags. The fact that she was in her late 40s didn’t seem to be an issue, but over the next decade the brand’s faces have gotten noticeably younger. In 2015, 27-year-old Rihanna partnered with the brand for the first Dior campaign to feature a celebrity of colour and earlier this year, Dior named 21-year-old British singer Jorja Smith their brand new global makeup ambassador.
In 2012, 40-year-old Cameron Diaz lent her star power to Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer and became the celebrity face of their new line of Link Lady watches. Her campaign ads were a picture of sophistication, much like those of Uma Thurman when she became a Tag Heuer brand ambassador in 2005 at 35-years-old. The Tag Heuer brand has continued to work with a variety of familiar faces over the years including 26-year-old British model and actress Cara Delevingne. Cara became the face of multiple Tag Heuer campaigns including a 2015 ad that saw her posing with a real lion cub for which she received intense criticism from animal rights groups. As a result, Cara auctioned off her watch to raise funds for wildlife in Africa and last year she returned to the Tag Heuer brand for a new wildlife photoshoot with a lion at a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.
The iconic French luxury fashion and perfume house was founded in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy. The most famous ambassador of the brand, who also happened to be the first, was Audrey Hepburn. Hubert and Audrey stuck with each other through seven films from 1954 to 1987 including Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey was 58-years-old during her last on screen endorsement of the luxury brand, but a much younger face is about to pay homage to the “original brand ambassador” for Hubert de Givenchy. The French house has recently announced that 26-year-old superstar Ariana Grande will front its winter 2019 campaign not only as herself, but also as an homage to a modern day Audrey Hepburn.
Perhaps one of the most drastic evolutions in terms of celebrity endorsements has come from Chanel. In the 80s, French model and style icon Ines de la Fressange became the first to ever sign an exclusive contract with Chanel and she remained the face of the brand until 1989 at 32-years-old. The label has since turned to a variety of other Hollywood stars and in 2016, Karl Lagerfeld named young starlet Willow Smith as a new face for the French fashion house. The 15-year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith landed several campaigns with the luxury brand and made her Paris Fashion Week debut at Chanel’s fall 2016 show. Fortunately, there’s still hope for the more seasoned celebrities looking to partner with the brand as 45-year-old Oscar-winning actress Penélope Cruz was chosen to become the new Chanel ambassador in 2018.