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12-07-2010
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I think the key word in the post title is "extremely." Models have always been young and significantly younger than the buyers of the products they represented so that is nothing new. I think there is a difference between having a model who is young fronting a campaign and a model who looks young. I remember coming across an interview that I think was from the supermodel era give or take a few years - a comment was made that designers (and presumably editors) want models who are seventeen chronologically but who can look twenty-seven after she has been styled and glammed, I think that is the longer-term view of models.

However, that particular view of models was turned upside down when the baby doll look came into vogue, then a model who was sixteen and looked sixteen became in demand and that made sense when the clothes and the editorial themes aligned with that look. Now that the baby doll looks and themes are passe I think that it is taking the fashion world time to adjust its thinking to the new normal which is really the old normal. Also, I think that there is a lot of noise in the system, like it is not unprecedented for a very young model (15-18 range) to be an It Girl and score the high profile gigs, but they were the exception and not the rule. Nowadays, it's like "well Jac and Karlie are two of the hottest models and we have to fill our boards, runways and pages with models of that same profile." I think that today agents associate freshness and discovering a new face with plucking a girl out of the mall or off the tundra and immediately putting her on a plane to Milan. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that the Joan Smalls situation is more representative of how it used to happen. Yeah she may have started modeling as a teenager but she made her bones doing catalogs, and low profile shows and print work, so when she was cast in the Givenchy show it was still considered as a discovery of a fresh new face. To me Joan Smalls story more closely parallels how models were discovered in previous eras (again correct me if I am wrong), it's not this 0 to Milan in sixty seconds thing that we have going on now for entire groups of models.

Getting back to the original question, while I agree that most industrialized cultures are youth obsessed, I just can't bring myself to believe that women in their thirties and forties want to look like they are seventeen, twenty-seven yes, but not seventeen. When I think high profile campaigns from recent seasons, I don't think that they were littered with models who looked like they are fifteen - to me Jac did not look fifteen in the Calvin Klein ads, Karlie doesn't look seventeen in the Dior ads. However, Karlie looked sixteen-ish in the Hermes campaign and even though her face was mostly obscured, Rasa definitely looked like a young 'un in the SS2010 Prada ads, I mean the pigtails were a pretty big clue. Still in the Hermes and Prada situations, the model's youth fit the theme. Another element of noise with this issue is that brands like DKNY, Blu-Girl, Miu Miu and Marc by Marc Jacobs target people in their teens and twenties so a youthful theme and cast makes sense.

I think the real mistake being made by designers and photographers in thoughtlessly looking to the pool of fresh, usually teen, faces for campaign casting is not necessarily looking the part physically but it is more about these newbies' skills as models and their presence. Does a model who is still in high school have the drawing power to make someone stop flipping through the magazine to examine an ad? Most likely no, IMO. Now I will throw in a caveat, sometimes the styling, set up and photography is enough to draw you in and model skill and presence or lack thereof is not a barrier to the campaign being effective, Prada SS2010 with Rasa is an example of this. While I liked the Prada SS2010 collection, I question why a designer who has a youth brand (Miu Miu) would even choose to slot those designs in her mainline. As I said previously the model casting made sense in that case, but it should be noted that the following season Miuccia was extolling the virtues of grown women.

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12-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvjeisa View Post
Photoshop doesn't work so well on the runway - yet - and since the 70s people seem to want to have the same models on the runway and in print.
Stella Tenant is still doing runway and she's, what, 46, 47?

It's a good point the OP makes ... I find myself mystified by the ads even for brands I like ... Bottega's ads used to be better, but recently they've been featuring slackers ... And Marc Jacobs, good Lord ... I used to like his ads, but now they have models rising out of blow-up toilets, and Vicks Beckham in a shopping bag ... Lanvin ads have a strong tendency to be garish--I always assumed the idea was to make a very minimal ad buy as memorable as possible.

If I were designing a Lanvin campaign, I would put teddy bear Alber in the ads ...

Who these ads are really meant for, and who finds them pleasing, is a good question.

Campaigns for brands I don't like--such as Diesel's recent 'stupid' campaign--are even more ... what is the word I'm looking for

The Hermes campaign Gemma Ward did I liked ... at that point she was so young she was very blank, and I guess you can project anything you want onto a blank space.

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15-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
Stella Tenant is still doing runway and she's, what, 46, 47?
Owch. According to wiki she's 40

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15-07-2010
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^ I believe that age has been 'adjusted.' I just read this in a magazine, and I remember it fairly distinctly in relation to my own age

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17-07-2010
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revlon started picking extremely young child models as the faces of their "most unforgettable women..." campaign in the 80's. was it avedon's intention? i am not sure.

milla jovovich was 13 when this ad appeared i think. Tara D’Ambrosio was apparently 5 or 6 when this ad was shot.

in today's 24 hour news cycle i think a move like would be heavily criticized.

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17-07-2010
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I don't know...those ads look very angelic, especially the first one. It's nothing like selling whore thongs to 12 yo girls, which seems to be common at the moment.

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17-07-2010
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Tara D'Ambrosio looks like she's helping mummy put on her make-up, but these days, that might be perceived as a dangerous come-on to the army of paedophiles which are apparently lurking outside the door of every family home. Paranoia has increased to the point where sections of normal society now perceive children on a sexual level, even if that comes from an intent to protect them.

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17-07-2010
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^ And even so I think people underestimate the sexual nature of children ...

My perception is that you guys have considerably less crazies in Europe? Would love to know why ... tell us your secret :p

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18-07-2010
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^Hmmm....well, I have encountered enough pedophiles here in Europe to feel they do lurk out there. The point is that they're usually pretty prolific so just one can cause a lot of harm.

So, no, no army but it's not exceedingly rare either. Sadly. But I know, if you haven't seen the evidence of it, it's simply hard to believe.

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18-07-2010
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advertising doesn't work with reality, it's not about presenting the customers as they are it's about presenting that ideal of what they could be (which in most cases is impossible)

youth is something that's put on a very high pedestal, especially in fashion. almost everything that has to do with aging is considered ugly. young people can dress in every style and look good, but older people have to dress for their age. we should be at our most beautiful when we're teenagers (reality says otherwise) and in a business that is all about what we see on the surface it's no wonder that youth takes such a large space.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvjeisa View Post
First, it's the thrill of the new in general. Second, it's the next big thing. Third, it's the allure of the unknown.
I agree with this as well. it's all about finding the next kate moss, and preferably finding them before anyone else so modeling scouts tend to look for younger models.


What I find funny with fashion advertising is that, while you have a 15 yearold model clothes for women around 30, you still put make up and clothes on her to look older. I guess it's all about creating this person that doesn't exist, a grown woman with the youthfulness of a teenager. A somewhat innocent/grown look, kind of like a less sexual lolita.

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18-07-2010
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i'm so over those 15 year old girls with bodies like rails, trying to look 'sexy'.

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18-07-2010
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I know the difference between "she's young" and "she looks young". Yes, ad is magical, it's about fantasy. Men always desire young girls in affair and women wanna stay young for good (I just watched the movie "Chloe" and I got this)

Dior is war, as I said. Galliano selected Marion, Eva Green and other aged female ladies to be face of Dior, I can see that. But Karlie Kloss??? Seriously? Of course, KK is a pretty girl, I love her, but how could you link Dior and her from any possible angle? And it's not just a season, KK has been seen on its ads and walked as first face for nearly a year.

Talking about Stella T, my favourite model. I am so glad to see BALENCIAGA captured her on this season's ad. In previous seasons, some supermodels made a so-call "comback", but it didnt last that long as I expected. I do hope brands can consider these faces, not just taking teenagers to sell their products.


Last edited by balmain1914; 18-07-2010 at 08:18 AM.
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20-07-2010
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Advertisement is somehow unreal in any cases, they are fantasies that the companies' targeted audience wants. For fashion brands, it's the liveliness, young and elegance they will probably capture most audiences, you can be elegance and lively if you are in your 30s but you can doubtfully be young, so using an teenage or young faces probably best captures some of the fantasies that the customers wants, and they somehow can possibly attract younger customers. I doubt that if Chanel uses a 50+ woman for their perfume/beauty/clothing campaign, it will help their sells.

Talking about beauty/perfume campaigns, I believe the reason they uses younger face is that it can be an "illusion" for the customers, to somehow believe that if they apply this cosmetic/perfume, they will somehow become younger or feel younger, thus feel better and prettier for themselves, but that's definitely not all the cases, just the majorities.

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20-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williscrazy View Post
Advertisement is somehow unreal in any cases, they are fantasies that the companies' targeted audience wants. For fashion brands, it's the liveliness, young and elegance they will probably capture most audiences, you can be elegance and lively if you are in your 30s but you can doubtfully be young, so using an teenage or young faces probably best captures some of the fantasies that the customers wants, and they somehow can possibly attract younger customers. I doubt that if Chanel uses a 50+ woman for their perfume/beauty/clothing campaign, it will help their sells.

Talking about beauty/perfume campaigns, I believe the reason they uses younger face is that it can be an "illusion" for the customers, to somehow believe that if they apply this cosmetic/perfume, they will somehow become younger or feel younger, thus feel better and prettier for themselves, but that's definitely not all the cases, just the majorities.
Well, Chanel used a 30-40 year old Catherine Deneuve quite successfully. Not to mention that Dior still uses Sharon Stone....photoshopped nearly beyond recognition, but nonetheless.

When you use a famous face, most people know the age of the person....so there could be a limit to how gullible they are about what the product can do for them.

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20-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvjeisa View Post
Well, Chanel used a 30-40 year old Catherine Deneuve quite successfully. Not to mention that Dior still uses Sharon Stone....photoshopped nearly beyond recognition, but nonetheless.

When you use a famous face, most people know the age of the person....so there could be a limit to how gullible they are about what the product can do for them.

True, it's the fame that brings sell to the campaign, it's still fantasy, becoming like one of the ladies that have millions and billions is definitely some women's dream, but when it comes to more unfamiliar faces like Jac, Sigrid, the thing they are selling is the youthfulness instead of fame; though I would love to see Carmen Dell'Orefice to star in a Chanel/Dior/LV campaign, I believe she would like amazing

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