Lanvin took its fall ads in an unusual direction, for a high-fashion brand: it cast non-models — people who are beautiful recreationally, as opposed to professionally — in its ads and had them shot by Steven Meisel. The subjects are (apparently — it's hard to tell for sure because not all the ads have been published yet) diverse in race, age, and body size, and include a waiter, a milliner, a recent U.S. immigrant, and an 80-year-old former dancer (pictured above).
The dancer told Lanvin creative director Alber Elbaz at the shoot that when she was 18, she had wanted to come to Paris and be a model, "but she was a showgirl at the Apollo," says Elbaz. (Elbaz doesn't name her, but this back story suggests that the woman depicted is Jacquie Tajah Murdock, a former dancer at the Apollo Theater who's been shot before by Advanced Style). It's definitely not every day that you get to see an 80-year-old woman of color become the face of a major fashion company. [WWD]
Vanity Fair Italy has behind-the-scenes photos from the just-wrapped Pirelli Calendar shoot — and for the first time, the famous fashion girly calendar will feature a visibly pregnant woman, Adriana Lima. It's shot by the photojournalist Steve McCurry (who took the famous picture of the "Afghan girl"). [VF.it]
Mark Ronson, who is not normally a model, and Anja Rubik are in the campaign for this Fendi perfume. [DS]
Here are the first two photos of Miss Wu, the contemporary (i.e. expensive instead of insanely expensive — $195-$795) line Jason Wu is doing for Nordstrom starting next January. [WWD]
Jessica Chastain's Yves Saint Laurent fragrance ad leaked via an Instagram picture of the ad. The Telegraph writes, "No doubt she will be getting first dibs — along with fellow YSL spokesmodel Emily Blunt — on the debut collections by new creative director Raf Simons, which will be unveiled in October." Raf Simons is the new creative director of Christian Dior. Hedi Slimane is the new creative director of YSL. [Telegraph]
Karmen Pedaru and Simon Nessman return as the faces of Michael Kors for fall. [WWD]
Edun, which tapped Ryan McGinley to shoot its last campaign with models and African butterflies, got the photographer to do its next one with models and African birds. Peregrine falcons and hawks, specifically. The ads echo McGinley's recent fine art work, which has featured naked people interacting with (and being scratched and bitten by) wild animals (and which was shown in New York this May). "They are much larger and more powerful than you might think," says McGinley of the birds. "Occasionally they would fly away from the set, and we would all just have to be patient and wait for them to return to work." [WWD]
OPI's German-themed collection includes shades with names like "Don't Talk Bach To Me" and "Danke Shiny Red." [Racked]
In the new issue of online magazine Matchbook, Modcloth founder Susan Koger talks about starting the business in her Carnegie Mellon dorm room, finding a red Dior coat for $15 in a Pittsburgh Goodwill (remind us to go thrifting in Pittsburgh), and female entrepreneurship. [Matchbook]
- Heidi Klum is still apologizing for Gretchen Jones' Project Runway Season 8 triumph over Mondo Guerra. When Klum disagrees with another judge, "I really will fight with them to get who I love until the bitter end. Sometimes I don't succeed, like with Mondo for example," she says. "I really wanted him to win, but I got overruled. Jessica Simpson and I, we wanted Mondo, and Nina and Michael wanted Gretchen. Then all the sudden they got Jessica on their side, so then it was three against one." Klum also says that when she and Michael Kors have lunch, "he talks about his anorexic cat who loves to eat tissue paper!" [WWD]
- BryanBoy, who is a judge on the next season of America's Next Top Model, says he never really thought about being on television and turned down offers to do reality shows in the past. "It's never something I imagined doing. But for the past two years I've received a lot of offers from production companies interested in doing some kind of reality show based on me. I said no to everything because I feel like I haven't really done so much in order to open up my life that much. I don't think my life is interesting! On my blog I only share what I feel like sharing whereas on television you're really a public figure." He says he waited "until the very last minute" to say yes to ANTM. "I thought why not give it a shot. It's a contract for one season." [Fashionista]
- Women's Wear Daily reports on one challenge for Western companies doing business in China: corruption. Avon is still under investigation for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in China, and Wal-Mart has drawn regulators' scrutiny for alleged bribery in Mexico and other countries.
As a general rule, Beijing-based lawyer Ronan Diot, who works with the firm Norton Rose, said that foreign companies should not engage in any commercial behavior that would be unacceptable in the West, even if they see other companies getting away with it.
"The difficulty is that some people within companies tend to see corruption as inevitable, and that when they are in Rome, they should do as the Romans," said Diot. "Too many foreign companies run afoul of the local rules because they think, ‘most companies are doing it,' or ‘there is no other way.'"
If American companies operating in other countries are hoping to escape the scrutiny of the authorities back home, they are unlikely to succeed. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Justice, which investigates FCPA violations, have been working overtime in the wake of recent allegations against Wal-Mart Stores.
- Giorgio Armani says it was an honor to make some suits for Christian Bale's character in the new Batman movie. "In the lexicon of superheroes, it's an honour to be associated with such an intriguing character as Bruce Wayne," says the designer. [Vogue UK]
- Dion Lee is the Australian regional winner of this year's Woolmark Prize. He will compete in London this February for the $100,000 international prize. [WWD]
- The private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners, which earlier this year acquired 50% of Alexis Bittar and a minority stake in Rebecca Minkoff, has made another investment in a fashion property: a majority stake in Paige Denim. [WWD]