It’s no longer enough to be just a pretty face. Sofia Carson, a 26-year-old Disney star, is Revlon’s latest brand ambassador, WWD has exclusively learned.
But Carson is more than just an actress and singer (her single with R3hab, “I Love You,” recently debuted on Spotify) — she’s also a UNICEF supporter who has traveled to Brazil with the organization and has spoken on behalf of its Keeping Girls in School Act. Like many of her young peers in entertainment, she’s actively vocal on social media about causes she cares about, sharing articles about current events with her followers. (Recent shares have included the fires in Australia, for which she encouraged her followers to follow her lead and donate to the Red Cross.)
Carson’s first campaign with Revlon will debut this spring. She shot with fellow Revlon brand ambassadors Ashley Graham and Adwoa Aboah for the brand’s Super Lustrous lipstick and Color Stay foundations.
As Revlon Inc. explores a sale process for its brands — most likely of its portfolio brands, which include Almay, American Crew and Mitchum — it is focused on driving growth to its core brands, Revlon and Elizabeth Arden. In a languishing mass beauty market in the U.S., Revlon is one of the legacy brands that has struggled to recruit young consumers who aren’t shopping for makeup in its primary channel: drugstores. Other brands — such as Cover Girl, who recently signed Lili Reinhart, “Riverdale” actress, Instagram poet and animal rights activist — have also taken to signing on young brand ambassadors whose multihyphenate career paths and support for social causes are more likely to resonate with Gen Z consumers.
WWD spoke to Carson for her first interview as Revlon brand ambassador. Below, she talks about the importance of using her platform for good, hosting the Globes and, natch, her first Revlon memory.
WWD: So, how did this brand ambassadorship come about?
Sofia Carson: It’s been a few years in the making, but my relationship with Revlon goes all the way back to when I was a little girl. I remember I would always see my mom wearing this bright red lipstick and I sat on her vanity one day and put it on — it was Cherries in the Snow by Revlon. Since that day, every time I performed on stage I wore that red lipstick and felt so invincible. There’s a certain strength that comes from it. When I told [the brand executives] about that [memory], it felt right.
WWD: And this is your first beauty deal.
S.C: I only wanted a partnership if it was really genuine and honest. The heart of what Revlon speaks to is the woman I was raised to be — from Audrey [Hepburn] to Adwoa [Aboah] to Ashley Graham, they’re not only beautiful faces but philanthropists and activists.
WWD: You’re pretty vocal on social media about causes you care about.
S.C: The platform that I have is a responsibility that I take really seriously. I made a promise to myself that the most important thing I can do is use my voice — who are we if we don’t use our voices? [I] especially want to use my voice toward young women and women around the world potentially silenced and afraid to use their voices. To speak toward causes most important to me is the most important thing I can do. Empowerment of women through education through [my work with] UNICEF is first and foremost on my mind and [aligned with] every decision I make work-wise.
WWD: You’ve posted recently on Twitter about the fires in Australia and earthquakes in Puerto Rico. How do you decide what causes to engage with your audience about?
S.C: I think it’s what I genuinely feel most passionate about. When I see news and it strikes a chord with me, I [feel] I have a duty not only as a citizen of the world but a person with a platform [to post]. Right now, the three issues [that I most care about] are education, climate change and voting. [Voting] is such an important thing, especially for young people.
WWD: Do you think you’ll work with Revlon on some sort of charitable endeavor?
S.C: We’ve already spoken about that. That’s important to me — brands that give back.
WWD: What other projects are you working on right now?
S.C: I just finished shooting a movie with Netflix coming out this spring. I’m also working on a ton of music right now — [my single] with R3hab debuted as the most added song in the world on Spotify, the same weekend that Dua Lipa and Harry Styles released their singles. And I’m shooting more music videos this month and have some exciting performances planned. And I’m planning a UNICEF field trip.
WWD: And you just hosted the Golden Globes red carpet, wearing Giambattista Valli. What’s your approach to red carpet dressing?
S.C: To me, red carpet dressing is so much more than a beautiful photo or pretty dress. To me it’s your chance to tell the world, “This is who I have chosen to be.” Fashion is becoming more political every day. It’s a way to tell your story to the world.