PARIS — Add another talent to Jennifer Lopez’s already formidable résumé: model.
That’s how Marc Jacobs describes the star of the fall 2003 advertising campaign for Louis Vuitton, which wrapped up shooting here last week and is slated to premiere in August magazines.
"I can’t tell you how much she gave to this shoot. It was like ‘Showtime,’" Jacobs said Wednesday. "She became this supermodel. She was unbelievable."
And Jacobs can’t believe his good fortune. When brainstorming with his team about the next campaign, the Vuitton creative director said he wanted to continue his theme of collaborating with artists, having just finished a successful one for spring accessories with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.
"I thought it would be great to collaborate with an artist of a different sort, a pop figure," Jacobs said. "I said I wanted to use Jennifer Lopez. I just love her. That’s cutting through all of it. There’s her glamour. I love the way she moves, the way she dances. I love her songs. There’s something about her relationship with Ben [Affleck]. She’s got this star quality that I find extremely hard to resist.
"But then we all sat around and said, ‘That’ll never happen. She has her own perfume, she has her own clothing line. She’ll never do it.’"
Enter Antoine Arnault, the son of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault, who recently joined Vuitton’s communications team and had worked on the popular spring campaign, starring model Eva Herzigova. Jacobs said the young Arnault contacted her manager and Lopez accepted. Her fee was not disclosed.
Jacobs said he had no reservations about the fact that Lopez has other fashion entanglements, and added that he felt it important to push the boundaries at Vuitton, which must remain true to its iconic status, while speaking to new generations.
"I don’t think it’s competition. She doesn’t do French luxury goods," Jacobs said. "And it wasn’t a celebrity endorsement because that we don’t need. It was really about her playing a part. She looks extremely stylish and sophisticated, and not the way she looks in her perfume ads or in ‘Maid in Manhattan’ or in any of her other movies, past or present. She looks like an incredibly striking fashion model."While some spied Sixties references on the Vuitton runway, Jacobs said the campaign, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott, has no retro references and casts the collection in a totally new light.
The pictures are still being retouched and edited and won’t be approved for several weeks, but Jacobs described them as "sexy, powerful and very graphic. They’re just strong, iconic images."
Affleck appeared on the set several times during the four-day shoot, but not in front of the camera. The campaign also features two male models and showcases the range of Vuitton products, from ready-to-wear and bags to shoes and men’s wear.
But the spotlight belonged to Lopez.
"There was a really great vibe on the set," Jacobs said. "There was music, of course, and she sang to songs she knew. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a shoot."
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