Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Flood of Ads

When it rains, it really pours. Much like the deluge that those in California experienced these past few weeks, the fashion industry has seen an out pouring of the campaign variety. And not one to be left out these days, Freja makes her (newly cheery) presence known in campaigns for three brands:

Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld
(Nothing too special, but I guess the formula works for Chanel customers, which is why Karl has stuck with it for the past few seasons. Last two shots are my favorites.)

Louis Vuitton by Steven Meisel

Georg Jensen by Unknown Sebastian Faena

Sometimes I still can't believe how popular Freja got. All of these campaigns? Three Vogue Italia covers within a year? Status as a Meisel favorite? A few years ago all of this would have been unimaginable to me as a fan, and maybe that's partly why I started this blog. Because I just couldn't understand why such a wonderful, versatile, enthralling and intriguing model was being overlooked by nearly everyone except Karl Lagerfeld. So I just had to write about it. And now here we are and Freja is definitely no longer overlooked (but I do not take credit for this, lest you misread my words). She has worked with nearly all the top photographers and been featured in nearly all the major magazines. She also has plenty of stans, tumblrs and sites dedicated to her; enough that I continually question myself about keeping this one running because it feels like there's less and less of a reason to do so.

Anyway, lots of people say that she is overexposed and I actually completely agree. But you know what? I'm just going to go with it because she is a great model (those who say otherwise have no knowledge of her complete oeuvre) who deserves to be acknowledged after 6 years of hard work in the industry, and truth be told I'd rather see her face plastered everywhere than some 16 year old's. The requisite backlash and bashing that comes with this kind of model success has already started in the tFS campaign threads, and I only expect it to get worse. But c'est la vie. You don't survive for half a decade in the industry without developing a very thick skin. And let's face it, most of that anger is displaced disappointment about people's own favorite models not getting certain campaigns or not being featured in certain magazines.

It's no secret that I have my own love/hate relationship with Freja's image in the modeling industry. Maybe hate isn't the right word....annoyance is more like it. I've been guilty of expressing my fair share of criticism, but it comes from a place of respect, admiration and a complete belief that Freja is capable of being more than just the stereotype that she's been saddled with. I think we're seeing signs of a sea change now, as a few of these ads show a new direction for Freja. A direction where she is allowed to be happy and radiant instead of only tough and morose. If so, then this underexposed aspect of her modeling is another welcomed chapter in her already illustrious career. And I hope it means that 2011 will be a year of continued evolution and more surprises, instead of overexposure and hackneyed concepts. Whether I'll write about it as much as I have been is up in the air, and I guess subject to my own whims and boughts of inspiration. Then again, maybe this is all just the post-holidays blues talking, so we'll see!

Image Credits: scans by tFS members gossiping, rox_yr_sox, style_expert


Natalia said...

I'm a Freja fan, so I don't really mind that I'm seeing her eyes (and in a few surprisingly common dimples, lately) peering out of my magazine pages. That said, I certainly understand the fears people have that this is sort of the last hurrah, the final ten yards before the finish line of her illustrious (or, as some might undoubtedly say, LUSTrious) career.

But you know what? That's the way it's supposed to be. This is just my opinion here, so feel free to disagree, but I've always felt it is those that live with an indefinite end that are most beautiful. Youth and prettiness are beautiful because they are so transient and fleeting, because this characteristic forces us to appreciate it in the moment. I find it hard to believe that Freja's career will end any time soon, but because I sit in anxious anticipation (I know you have also commented on this feeling, Rrose) hoping that she'll walk out on the runway each season, this is never something I can say with the same confidence as might be said of Kate Moss, for example.

This ever-present doubt and uncertainty is precisely what makes Freja (or anything in the vein I speak of, for that matter) so special. Every cloud...

But now that I'm done being all philosophical, are you quite honestly entertaining the possibility of leaving this blog? I find that a troubling thought, indeed. :(

Anonymous said...

In terms of her new campaigns, I adore the 3rd Chanel shot, really really really just takes my breath away.

As a Freja follower from he beginning, I love to see that her hard work and consistency is paying off in how she is getting the big name brands and editorials, but it does iritate me a little in all the exposure she is currently getting, especially here in England, which I have mentioned before. I don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing that I can converse with the average reader of Grazia about Freja's collection of leather jackets, but I do hope she can have a career as long and successful as models like Stella Tennant and Kristen McMenamy.

Long live Freja!

ps. don't give up the blog!

Anonymous said...

The Georg Jensen campaign was shot by Sebastian Faena :)

endia said...

I love the love that she is getting from the industry. It's well deserved. I think the ones who are screaming overexposure are just baffled by Freja's appeal. They don't get it. I wouldn't call her the girl next door type. She's not the curvy sexy type. She's not the blonde, blue eyed beach girl type. They don't get how this rather androgynous, skinny, non curvy young lady (I say this with the greatest affection lol) can be so successful in this industry. She's s bit of an anomaly to them.

Fact is, she's well liked, reliable, intriguing, charming, good at what she does and seems to be an all around nice young lady. Why wouldn't industry people want to work with her?

Juliet said...

The Chanel campaign is amazing!

juliet xxx

Andrea said...

Heya! The Jensen ad is by Sebastian Faena.

:) Cheers Freja lovers!

Anonymous said...

Nooooooo Rrose, keep up good work. Dont ever question continuing it :) Im happy to read your every entries

Anonymous said...

Wow I just went by a huge poster of freja for the new H&M CAMPAING SHE'S WITH Raquel n mathias. She looked beautiful

Rrose Sélavy said...

As always, it's so fun, interesting and informative to read all your thoughts. Thanks everyone!

And thanks anonymous above for sharing. Can't wait to see the ads!

Fernanda said...


Sv said...

Please dont stop writing!!! I am just soooo fascinated by Freja & ur writing! Maybe I dont know too much but I havent seen the kind of critique you bring to the table about models anywhere else. I'm a 23 yr old Indian who studied science,is studying law & dreams of being a designer someday and consider this blackmail all you want but you cant stop writing! This world tht I see in your blog is a fantasy world-the life of Freja, the way you observe and analyse the modeling world and the fashion industry everything! You cant stop Rrose! Your blog is like a a knowledge chest to me, every time I chk it, I read something which I havent even wondered abt before.

Ok, now that this is out of the way, let me continue reading this post. :). Happy New Year.

Rrose Sélavy said...

@ Sv: Thank you so much for your incredibly sweet and touching comment. I had no idea this blog had that kind of impact on you, but knowing that makes it much easier to carry on for a little while longer. Thank you so very much!