Because of the buzz about the Joan Collins ads I thought I should talk a little more about her and why she was the perfect choice…
Almost three decades ago, Collins arguably became the most celebrated television star of the 1980s through her legendary portrayal of her character Alexis Carrington on the hit show Dynasty. In 1981, it is rumored that Collins swaggered onto the set of Dynasty eating spoonfuls of beluga caviar and wearing improbably large shoulder pads, driving a pink Thunderbird. She roared around Hollywood in chinchilla stoles and emerald bracelets and was rarely seen without a lover.
The ‘80s were an exciting time for women. And it was in this decade that Joan became a symbol of the modern woman. She blended power, position and authority without losing her femininity. At a time when “power suits” were taking over, Joan (Alexis) let it be known that style and glamour were tools of a clever strong woman. (And to prove the point, she could, when challenged, wrestle her opponent to the ground in a sequined ball gown and still be fabulous! ).
Joan Collins continues to mentor a cult following among those who remember the vivid style she demonstrated as the strong beautiful Alexis Carrington.
Joan is a icon of the 80’s excesses. And it was Collins’ style that drew several links to the recent couture shows such as Balmain. Joan consequently served as key inspiration when designing this latest collection. Not only does Joan embody the bold sensuality of the brand, but more than any other style icon, she represents the flamboyant glamour of the 1980’s and exudes an unparalleled confidence that makes women of all ages feel empowered.
The idea of using Joan was incredibly exciting. When I look at advertising in the marketplace, the majority of models are 18-24. And these same ads are designed to appeal to older women. It was enticing to reject the current advertising formula and embrace a new reality - a 76 year old woman can exude confidence, strength and represent a modern generation and style. An exciting phenomenon surrounding Joan is that at 76, she has broad inter-generational appeal. That appeal is based on both her legendary cult status and her iconic image which continues to inform the modern American woman. In hindsight, after witnessing the explosion of excitement around the ad, I can’t help think that a large part of this energy has to do with the fact that people are amazed to see a mature woman of 76 be the glamorous face of a trendy modern jewelry company.
In regards to the photos, there’s been quite a lot of talk on the internet about how Joan’s photos were photoshopped and worked on during post-production. I’d just like to say that while yes, some photo-shopping was done, (as it is after most photo shoots) it was very limited, particularly on the black and white photos. It is very important to me that we set the record straight. Joan Collins is a beautiful woman. Her photos are terrific and she looks just like that in person. As I mentioned before, her age and maturity are part of what drew me to her. And for those of you who love a tan, Joan said that she attributes her fair skin and youthful appearance to her lifelong avoidance of sun. She also has a motto that’s served her well, “Base. Not Botox.”