Three’s a trend. First, Joan Didion appeared in Céline’s spring ads. Then, Joni Mitchell showed up in Saint Laurent’s Music Project series. And now, Cher — the glorious, glowing Cher — appears solo in Marc Jacobs’ fall ’15 ad campaign, shot by David Sims and styled by Katie Grand.
Marc has had a long history of using “unconventional” women (read: ones who aren’t size 2 twentysomethings) in his ad campaigns, including 66-year-old Vivienne Westwood in 2007, 51-year-old Cindy Sherman in 2005, and 32-year-old Winona Ryder in 2003. Over time, his advertising has gotten decidedly more cinematic, switching from Juergen Teller’s washed-out, disposable-camera quality for David Sims’ hi-fi moodiness, but his love of women hasn’t waned.
The choice to use a recognizable celebrity who comes with an already established cult of personality instead of a model-mannequin can be a dangerous one for brands that have a singular POV to project. When Jacobs chose to use Miley Cyrus to front his spring 2014 campaign, people talked about her more than the clothes she was wearing. So, it's interesting for such a recognizable brand to align itself with a wide spectrum of strong, brazen women, especially when the campaign models are taken as aggregate rather than standing alone. Whether he's showcasing celebrities or normals, Jacobs takes immense inspiration from how women connect with his clothing in the real world; he's able to look at — and show the public — how his designs behave off the runway.
After receiving an award from Parsons, his alma mater, Jacobs told Elle.com, “‘Real’ women are the reason the fashion industry exists. I am thrilled every time I see a woman on the street wearing [Marc Jacobs]… The way women choose to wear [Marc] is the way to wear it, because the clothes belong to them and their lives [and] their vision.” Translation: "I got you, babes."