Louis Vuitton’s It-Girls

23 October 2015

Mary Jane Fashion looks at the French fashion house’s impressive group of spokesmodels.

Nowadays, one of the key parts of a fashion brand has to be the contingent of glamourous women who represent it. A move spearheaded by Chanel and Dior, who have enlisted the help of Keira Knightley, Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Vanessa Paradis and Lily Rose Depp, and Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna and Natalie Portman respectively, these spokesmodels help consumers visualise the brand’s aesthetic and to embody the sort of woman the brand designs for and wants to attract. After Marc Jacobs retired from his incredibly successful tenure as creative director at Louis Vuitton, it was difficult to see in which direction his successor, Nicolas Ghesquière, would take the brand. In the past, Louis Vuitton, like Dior and Chanel, opted for huge stars like Madonna, David Bowie, Keith Richards, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jennifer Connelly to represent the brand. Under Ghesquière, however, Louis Vuitton has opted for less well-established stars, with the exception perhaps of Michelle Williams and Freja Beha Erichson, to those who are on the cusp of huge international success. Combining faces from the worlds of film and high fashion, Ghesquière is looking to a new frontier, with the help of women from a variety of multifarious backgrounds. But who exactly are Ghesquière’s poster girls?

1. Michelle Williams

Star of critically acclaimed films Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine and My Week with Marilyn, Michelle Williams signed to Louis Vuitton whilst the label was still under the premiership of Marc Jacobs. She reappeared in Louis Vuitton’s A/W 2015 ‘The Spirt of Travel’ handbag campaigns sporting her characteristic platinum blonde hair and reclining in a paisley maxi skirt with chunky ankle boots amongst luxury Louis Vuitton trunks and cases. Although one of the most recognisable faces in the campaign, Williams in many ways eschews the concept of modern celebrity that spokesmodels for other fashion houses pertain to. She is notoriously private, keeping her daughter Matilda firmly out of the spotlight and working her film schedule around building a normal life for them. There is something old-school about Michelle Williams: we can’t follow her every move on social media and she doesn’t court limelight on the red carpet. Instead, she is understated and effortless, embodying the classic mystique of by-gone eras but retains a quality that is modern and refreshing. This is perhaps why Louis Vuitton wanted to work so closely with her.

2. Freja Beha Erichson

Freja is one of the world’s most popular models. She isn’t, perhaps, as well-known as Kate Moss or Cara Delevigne, but she has a unique and versatile look and plenty of edge to recommend her: she might even be cooler than both of these two. Over her career, she has modelled for all of the major fashion houses, including Valentino, Gucci, Chloe, Balenciaga, Chanel and Dior, booking shows thanks to her smouldering androgyny and winning smile. Even her tattoos are the source of design inspiration, with the head of Versace’s Versus label, Anthony Vaccarello, declaring that the starry designs of his A/W 2015 collection were inspired by one of her tattoos. Shop similar styles at Mary Jane Fashion. She was cast in the latest Louis Vuitton campaign to celebrate and reinvent the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram, as well as opening the A/W 2015 show in Paris sporting a voluminous faux fur coat.

3. Alicia Vikander

Alicia Vikander is a star well and truly on the rise. Starting off in films in her Native Sweden, for example the brilliant A Royal Affair, she was cast alongside Keira Knightley in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Anna Karenina in 2012 before appearing in gritty sci-fi drama Ex Machina. She is building herself a reputation as a dependably good actress, versatile and suitable for any number of different roles, and by the end of 2015, she will have appeared in eight films over the past 12 months. Louis Vuitton has been attracted to her thanks to her cool European aura, which they also sought to emulate with Charlotte Gainsbourg years before. Vikander is more of a leftfield choice than many of the other rising stars in the industry; however, this works in her favour entirely. Well known within the industry but not a household name just yet, Vikander is on the verge of superstardom, unafraid of edgy roles in both Swedish and English, and the perfect spokesmodel for a brand heading in a new direction under its new director. She has appeared in Louis Vuitton’s ‘Series 3’ campaign as well as alongside ‘The spirt of travel’ campaign alongside Michelle Williams.

4. Fernanda Hin Lin Ly

Instantly recognisable thanks to her bright bubblegum pink hair, Fernanda Hin Lin Ly was one of the break out stars of the A/W 2015 runways alongside Lineisy Montero and Pooja Mor. She was discovered in a shopping mall in Sydney thanks to her unique hair colour, which she has previously dyed lavender, red and blonde. She opened Louis Vuitton’s S/S 2016 show, cementing her place within Nicolas Ghesquière’s group of go-to women for the ultramodern direction in which he is taking the French brand. Ly has an irreverent youthfulness about her: she is still only 18 years old and simultaneously embodies contemporaneity and maturity in the same way that Tavi Gevinson did when she first stepped into the spotlight.

This post is contributed by Elizabeth Harper, a content writer for Mary Jane Fashion.

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