It’s hard to believe that Naomi Campbell’s first beauty campaign was only announced last year. At 48-years-old, the original super was chosen by François Nars who shot the images himself, to front the Spring 2019 collection. Arriving in the Middle East alongside the brand’s iconic Orgasm collection which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, the pair discuss their relationship both in front of and behind the camera.
Why did you choose Naomi Campbell for the NARS 2019 Campaigns?
FN: I love women with strength and character, strong faces and personalities. Naomi embodies all of these qualities, which is why I always love working with her.
Naomi, this will be your third campaign with NARS. Do you have one that stands out to you?
NC: I love every campaign that I have gotten to be a part of. With each one you get to transform, which is always fun.
Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with François Nars?
NC: François is like family to me and was one of the first people I met in my career. I am honored to continue to be working with him 32 years later. I was thrilled when he started NARS. I believed in his dream and always knew he would be highly successful.
François, can you tell us about the first time you and Naomi met?
FN: I remember when Naomi first came to the studio. She’d barely modeled and was so incredibly shy, so she just sat in the corner. I started painting her face and I thought, this girl has potential.
What makes working with Naomi so special?
FN: Naomi is a living icon and brings such strong personality to the camera. We are like a family, which is very special as well. She is a dear friend and strikingly beautiful.
Naomi, what is it like to work with François?
NC: He is a true artist, not just a makeup artist. He paints and transforms you. When I first started it was hard to find colors that truly matched my skin tone. He created those colors. I remember he made me my own foundation when I started.
What is one of your fondest memories of Naomi?
FN: I remember right after I moved to New York, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all that was going on at the time. I was talking to Linda [Evangelista] on the phone and next thing I knew she was at my door with the girls – Naomi [Campbell] and Christy [Turlington] and Steven [Miesel]. They put on this little nude runway show to cheer me up and we spent the rest of the day laughing and having fun.
What is a favorite backstage moment you shared with François?
NC: There are so many backstage moments, it would be impossible to pick just one. But every time you work with him you feel transformed and inspired.
You always break the rules of diversity with your model choices and product line. Is this a deliberate choice?
FN: My choice to use models of color such as… Naomi Campbell… was a deliberate one. I feel that makeup is universal and should apply to everybody. I didn’t want to create a makeup line for one ethnic group, it had to be multi-ethnic. To me, beauty is beauty. It doesn’t matter what color the skin is.”
François, what do you think makes Orgasm Blush such an iconic product and why do you think women love it so much?
We launched Orgasm in 1999 and I never expected it to be so successful. I would have to say the versatility of the color, the sheerness of the texture, and the name! I want to give products a character and an identity. I want people to remember the names and you can’t forget this one.
Why is this pink-peach hybrid shade so flattering on the skin?
Orgasm is special because it suits all skin tones. The pink color and subtle shimmer gives you a natural flush. It’s flattering for so many women.
Naomi, what was the first NARS product you used?
NC: The first Nars item was the Honolulu Honey Lipstick he gave to me in the 90’s. And one of my favorites was the foundation he created for me.
What are some of your favorite NARS products?
NC: I love Mountain Soft Velvet Pressed Powder, Sophia Eyeshadow and the Highlighting Powders.
Can you share with us what your beauty routine is like?
NC: I always start with a cleaning cream and a little bit of liquid soap. I also use Vitamin C and rose oil on my face.
What are some of your favorite beauty tips?
NC: I love using a tinted moisturizer instead of a full foundation. Nars has the perfect one for my skin. One of my favorite beauty tips is to add a little bit of shimmer to the corner of your eye near your tear duct.