Editor's note: This story was originally published with the headline "Unbelievably, Naomi Campbell Lands Her First Beauty Campaign at 48 for NARS," following Campbell's interview with the Independent in May 2017 during which she stated that she "never had a beauty campaign." It's since come to our attention that NARS had also cast her in a 2004 campaign, but whether that was a solo campaign of this prominence is unclear. We'll update this story as needed.
Naomi Campbell has been a household name for the past three decades, but it has somehow taken this long for the supermodel to land her first beauty campaign. In what should be taken as a positive change of the times, Campbell is now the front woman of NARS' 2019 ads. Her presence is notable, not just because of the fact that she is long overdue for starring in a beauty campaign, but also because of the products she's representing: the Radiance Repowered range, which includes more inclusive foundation shades and a new Skin Deep Eye Palette, as well as the Super Radiant Booster.
Campbell shared the news on her Instagram page, along with the first shot from the campaign, which is of course flawless. "Very excited to be the new face of NARS Cosmetics," she wrote, adding that the campaign was "shot by my dear friend François Nars." Campbell's relationship with Nars dates way back, as she commented on in a statement about the collaboration. “François and I are like family and the same goes for Nars. I am honoured to be a part of such an incredible brand for so long,” she said, per British Vogue.
Nars also spoke about their long history in his own statement, saying, “Naomi is a living icon and brings such strong personality to the camera. She and I are like family. I have known her since the very beginning of her career. From the start, I have admired her, her beauty, and her style.”
The campaign isn't just personal because of Campbell's friendship with Nars, it's also because of the products she's representing. “When I first started it was hard to find colors that truly matched my skin tone,” she said in a Q&A with the brand. “I remember [François] made me my own foundation.”
NARS isn't the only beauty brand diversifying its offerings, a long overdue move; last year CoverGirl rolled out 40 new foundation shades, represented in ads by Insecure mastermind Issa Rae. "I remember being an awkward black girl in high school, reading the pages of my favorite magazines, casually flipping through @COVERGIRL ads, singing their slogan in my head," she wrote on Instagram at the time. "Never EVER in my life did I imagine I'd be one."
The recent shift in the beauty industry to more inclusive offerings can be largely credited to Rihanna as well. Her Fenty Beauty line, which offered 40 shades of foundation upon its debut, is a smash success. It grossed $100 million in sales just over the course of its first 40 days on the market, as Time Magazine noted when the publication named Fenty Beauty one of their Top 50 Most Genius Companies of 2018. As Patrice Grell Yursik, creator of Afrobella.com, a natural beauty activism blog, told W last year, “After Fenty Beauty, there are no valid excuses anymore—they've been taken away.”