Sixty-five is the new 35, at least in model and actress Isabella Rossellini’s world. Nearly 25 years ago, Lancôme gave the Italian star the boot, after she’d served as the face of the brand since she was 30. Her contract was up, and at age 42, she was told she was too old to continue representing the brand.
But life, it seems, has a wicked sense of humour, and Lancôme has come back to Rossellini. This year, decades after being dumped for the date on her birth certificate, the brunette beauty has signed a new contract with the cosmetics company to represent its Rénergie Multi-Glow cream.
Rossellini admits she never expected to work with Lancôme again, and was surprised when they approached her, but she’s happy about the rekindled relationship.
“It’s wonderful to be back, to be a part of women’s emancipation, and I just happen to represent it through Lancôme,” Rossellini told Vanity Fair.
It seems as though the French cosmetics giant has come to realize that aging is actually one of the most beautiful (and inevitable) journeys that happens to a woman. And Rossellini echoes that sentiment.
“Beauty is how you define it for yourself and what is it that you want to present of yourself,” she said. “It’s not only inclusive in the sense that I’m 65 but the cream, too, the innovation of it all in the formula and also the ad language speaks of sophistication—it is communication that is positive and happy. Therefore, I feel energized, delighted, and surprised, not just because it’s happening for me, but for everybody.”
The fact that Lancôme had a new female executive helped convince the model that the brand had truly evolved and was ready to promote a message of inclusivity.
“Lancôme has ben around for 85 years,” Rossellini said in another interview, this time with The Cut. “The evolution of women in this century is the strongest. This century is the best one to be born to. In the beginning of Lancôme, women couldn’t have a bank account, a job, contraceptives, or have any rights… I’m not saying Lancôme is at the avant-garde or a political moment. They have to respond to women’s dreams. Now I’ve been with them 40 years and that’s half of their time. I can see that change. I can see the way things are changing for women, it is for the better.”
Rossellini’s comeback couldn’t be better timed; the world is poised to receive strong female leaders like her. And it will likely sell some face cream for Lancôme, too.