After losing her Lancôme contract at the age of 43 for being considered too old, 25 years later, Isabella Rossellini is again featuring the brand’s official campaign.
Now that is what I call the Grey Power!
Actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model, Isabella Rossellini is the daughter of Italian neo-realist film director Roberto Rossellini and Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman. She became the face of Lancôme at the age of 31. At 34, the film Blue Velvet directed by David Lynch, where she played a sexy and tortured jazz singer, catapulted her to stardom.
Isabella Rossellini’s always broken the rules, becoming a model at 28 years old and choosing challenging roles in unconventional movies, portraying fierce strong women.
She was the face of Lancôme for 14 years, being the highest paid model at that time. When she lost her contract, she was told it was because of her age and that “in advertising we don’t represent reality, we represent women’s dreams and a woman’s dream is to be young.” Rossellini said this felt unjust.
But thankfully times are changing.
The new general manager of Lancôme, Françoise Lehmann, recognized this was a mistake and to rectify it, she invited Isabella to be once again Lancôme’s Ambassador. She said that the company wanted to be much more inclusive.
Lancôme is not the first brand to realize the power of grey hair.
Marketing has finally realized that society is getting older and that mature women are responsible for more than 50 percent of the money spent on cosmetics.
So advertisement, which used to focus on young girls and woman up to 49 years old, has slowly but surely been forced to accept that this important part of society, that has, in fact, more disposable income to spend on clothes and cosmetics, wants to be represented in the campaigns and fashion shows by women their same age.
Dove was one of the first to embrace diversity in their campaign “Natural Beauty”, using women of all ages and shapes more than 10 years ago.
In 2011 Uniqlo featured “Thelma and Louise” actress Susan Sarandon who was 64 at that time.
Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, Charlotte Rampling and many other stars have appeared in advertisements in these past years. The wonderful 93-year-old style icon Iris Apfel has also made several campaigns, advertising from cars to jewellery, showing that beauty has no age.
Times are changing. The fashion and beauty industries and advertisement are changing with it.
Brands are now embracing not only older women but also women with different sizes too. Although they are not totally diverse yet, they are definitely in the right direction.