Step Aside, Actresses: The Supers Are Back

Christy! Photo: Courtesy of Escada

Out with the new, in with the old! The supermodels of the late eighties and nineties are reclaiming their territory in many European ad campaigns this fall. Though designers had been favoring actresses for campaign spots, many of the big houses are featuring supers in their fall ads. For example, Linda Evangelista stars in Prada, Naomi Campbell in Yves Saint Laurent, Claudia Schiffer in Chanel, and Christy Turlington in Escada. So, why the shift? In 1996 Calvin Klein said, "I don't think people are that interested in models anymore." And now people might not be that interested in actresses. WWD reports:

"At the end of the Nineties, there was a [supermodel] overdose and people wanted to see actresses, but maybe the fact that actresses don't really have a real relationship with fashion is driving [their return]," mused agent Didier Fernandez at DNA Models, which represents Evangelista, Nadja Auermann and Amber Valletta. He also suggested "people are starting to wake up" to the value, both in the emotive and bankable sense, of these iconic women.


For example, L'Oréal's profits increased 20 percent since Linda Evangelista started appearing in their ads eighteen months ago. A Louis Vuitton spokeswoman pointed out that a recognizable face is necessary to make people stop and look at an ad. It's true — though we might go gaga over Sasha Pivovarova, it's likely not too many people outside of the industry will know who she is.

And the supers aren't just sweeping ad campaigns. Rumor has it they'll appear in a fall issue of Italian Vogue.

The Old Is New Again: The 'Supers' Hold Sway In Europeans' Fall Ads [WWD]