I rarely ever am excited by anything coming out of Chanel, arguably Lagerfeld's most boring brand. There's only so much tweed I can look at before I am bored and disinterested and there hasn't been anything innovative to come out of the designs in a while (except perhaps the bug brooches and prints from Spring Couture presented earlier this year). I suppose that comes with the prestige of being one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Innovation and expansion on themes aren't necessary, I wonder if Lagerfeld feels more ability to utilize his incredible talents and creative chops over at Fendi rather than this house--the collections he creates there are certainly more fun (hello, Monster Collection, I NEED you). Anyways, all this backstory on my aversion to Chanel is to explain my pleasant surprise and delight at the announcement that Willow Smith has just been announced as the new Brand Ambassador for Chanel Beauty.
On the heels of Chanel's Fall 2016 runway show in Paris, the fashion house announced on Tuesday that Karl Lagerfeld has chosen the Indigo Kid as the brand's newest ambassadress. The 15-year-old actress, singer and dancer is set to join the ranks of Lily-Rose Depp, Blake Lively, Elle Fanning, Kristen Stewart and many others who have had the opportunity — or fashionable duty — to sit front row at Chanel's shows (as Smith did on Tuesday for the first time, alongside her mother Jada), attend Chanel-hosted soirées and wear Chanel whenever an ambassadress pleases. Smith showed her gratitude for her new role on Instagram with a photo of her and Lagerfeld at Paris's Grand Palais. The caption reads: "Thank you Karl Lagerfeld and the entire team at Chanel for expanding the perceptions of 'beauty' by picking me to be the new Chanel ambassador. I am honored."
Smith and the legendary designer met for the first time in 2014, when Lagerfeld photographed her for an issue of V Magazine. With recent fashion gigs that include snagging a modeling contract with The Society Management, starring in a Marc Jacobs campaign and landing her own cover with i-D, Smith is a natural fit for Chanel. After all, Coco Chanel herself, once famously said: “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”
It’s a philosophy long since embraced by Smith, undoubtedly fostered by her mother Jada who has often been quoted expressing her unwavering support for Willow's creative self expression. "I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are her domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It's also a statement that claims that even little girls have the right to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother's deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be," Smith said in 2012 on her Facebook page, when addressing the criticism flung at Willow for being a Care Free Black Girl ™.
Willow Smith for Stance Socks campaign, courtesy of Stance
As the industry slowly eases the reigns on its own rigid definitions of beauty, it seems like a bigger statement is being made by selecting Willow for the face, not just for Chanel, but for the brand's makeup line. Here is a young girl whose expression of beauty is fluid and carefree and whose hair is natural. It's like, finally, finally, the industry is starting to recognize that Beauty comes in all sorts of forms and that a celebration of such is greatly needed. I'm so here for Willow and I'm looking forward to seeing the new campaign (rumored to drop by the Summer) and hopefully, we'll see her express some of those acting chops in Chanel's annual short films directed by Lagerfeld.
A girl can dream, right?