The beauty industry is starting to embrace older models, including Jane Fonda, Maye Musk and Helen Mirren. Another celebrity is rejoining their ranks, after being fired 22 years ago, at the age of 43, for the crime of growing older.
That’s when Lancôme ended its contract with Italian actress, model and director Isabella Rossellini. Correcting that wrong, two years ago the brand’s first female head, general manager Françoise Lehmann, was hired and promptly rehired Rossellini as a global brand ambassador.
Now, two years later, the L’Oréal-owned brand is launching a multi-million dollar campaign with Rossellini as the global face of Lancôme Renergie Multi-Glow.
‘I was just so surprised! I said: “You let me go at 43 and now I’m 63. I haven’t got any younger!” But I agreed to meet, because I was very curious.’ Arriving early at the meeting, she saw a motorcycle draw up. ‘A fantastic-looking woman got off, took off her casque [helmet] and this blonde hair fell out. Then she walked up to me, shook my hand and said: “Hi, I’m Françoise,” and, just with that, I knew things had changed.
Before, I used to deal with 60-year-old men who were paternalistic and condescending. ‘I thought: “My God, this is a revolution!” I asked her: “Why me? You are digging up an old story.” But she said: “We made a mistake. I want that story to be rewritten.” Her courage in saying that touched me so much, I wanted to work with them again.’
Two years on, at 65, Rossellini’s campaign is finally launching (on March 14) and she’s busier than ever with two movies, a book and a theater tour all coming up, while she finishes a Master’s degree and runs an organic farm in addition to restarting her modeling career.
She offered a sneak peek at the upcoming campaign, shot by Peter Lindbergh, on her Instagram feed (see below), while Lancôme also included her in its “Write Her Future” campaign that launched on Feb. 21 with the not-for-profit NGO CARE, supporting its worldwide literacy programs to help young women turn their lives around.
Lancôme, in partnership with the NGO CARE, is supporting worldwide literacy programs to help young women living with illiteracy to turn their lives around. Show your support like Isabella Rossellini (@isabellarossellini) Write your name so she can write her future. Follow the link in bio. @careorg #Lancome #DeclaringHappiness #WriteHerFuture #CommittedTogether #HappierTogether