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Estée Lauder Calls on Stephanie Seymour

Mario Sorrenti shot Seymour’s first campaign for the beauty brand, which is expected to be unveiled this fall.

Stephanie Seymour is definitely going to listen to her mother more often.

This story first appeared in the February 5, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

After Seymour began modeling as a teenager, her mother — a longtime fan of Estée Lauder spokesmodel Karen Graham — told her daughter that one day she would model for the brand.

A few days before this past Christmas, she got that long-awaited call. “It was my Christmas present,” Seymour said during an exclusive interview Monday. “The first thing I did was call my mother — and she laughed and said, ‘How cute — I can’t believe you remember that!’ But it always stuck with me. Whenever I heard they were looking for models, I would always cross my fingers and hope. For a model to work with Estée Lauder is the pinnacle of things. And to be a part of major brand, which is hiring models rather than actresses, is also huge.”

Despite a sloppy winter storm that hit New York City full-force Monday, Seymour was proud to note she was on time for her first Lauder ad shoot in Manhattan. “I looked out the window and was like, ‘I am not going to be late for this shoot!’” Mario Sorrenti shot the campaign, which is expected to be unveiled this fall.

Lauder executives declined to comment further on Seymour’s first campaign. The ads are “around a new elevated platform in the luxury beauty space, which is expected to be launched this fall,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estée Lauder. “Stephanie represents modern women today in such a beautifully articulated way and she represents modern beauty and luxury to us. This campaign will speak to the beautiful complexity that makes her who she is.”

Hudis added that Seymour is an addition to the current spokesmodel beauty roster, which includes Carolyn Murphy and Constance Jablonski, and not a replacement for anyone.

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Seymour has long been interested in beauty. In 1998, she wrote “Stephanie Seymour’s Beauty Secrets for Dummies,” and appeared in beauty advertising earlier in her career for Revlon, L’Oréal and Dior, among others. This is her first spokesmodel beauty gig.

In addition to the Lauder contract, Seymour is hard at work on another project involving something she knows well: a lingerie line she is designing with a close friend. “We’re putting together our first collection now,” said Seymour, a former Victoria’s Secret Angel. “I’m enjoying being on the other side of the business — actually designing. It’s great to be able to put what I’ve learned about clothing and fit together in this line. I feel like I know what women want and need.”