Hedi Slimane Recruits Jane Birkin for Saint Laurent Campaign: Is Fashion Finally Celebrating Age?


Jane Birkin and Le Smoking tuxedo make the perfect pair. (Photo: Twitter/YSL)

A cool 50 years after starting her modeling career at the tender age of 19, Jane Birkin is still making a splash in the fashion industry.

The icon, so legendary that a Hermès bag was named after her, has been recruited by Hedi Slimane to star in a new Saint Laurent campaign as part of the brand’s ongoing Music Project campaign.

Modeling the French luxe label’s Le Smoking tuxedo, alongside Cara Delevingne, the 69-year-old looks just as comfortable in front of the lens as she did back in the 60s — and just as on point.

Boasting slightly mussed-up hair, it’s hard to tear your eyes from the brunette in the black-and-white snapshots as she captures the viewer’s attention as effortlessly as she always has done.


At 69, Birkin proves there’s no cut-off age for female models in this empowering campaign. (Photo: Twitter/YSL)

But it’s not Birkin’s captivating stare or youthful looks that deserve to be applauded here — it’s her age. After all, it’s not often that a high-fashion brand casts a woman who’s pushing 70 to star in a global campaign.

And here’s hoping it’s a sign that the fashion industry is changing, becoming more diverse and accepting and celebrating age, instead of shying away from it.


Marc Jacobs booked 70-year-old Bette Midler to star in his SS16 campaign. (Photo: Instagram/Bette Midler)


The actress danced around in floral dresses and posed up a storm in a monochrome jacket in the ads. (Photo: Instagram/Bette Midler)

This isn’t the first big name label to hire a more mature woman. At the start of the year, Marc Jacobs made headlines after booking 70-year-old actress Bette Midler to join his model roster for his fashion line’s SS16 campaign.

Posing up a storm in a graphic print jacket and dancing around in a floral dress complete with plunging neckline, the blonde, with her “bold, brassy glamour” that inspired Jacobs to start his eponymous label, proved that she’s just as alluring in front of the camera as any 20-something model.


Three of the original supermodels sizzled in the SS16 Balmain campaign. (Photo: Instagram/Balmain)

And how could we forget the fierce Balmain campaign, which starred three of the original supers — Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer.

The aged 49, 45, and 45 respectively, they may not have been sporting silvery locks in the ad, but they still proved that women don’t have to be dismissed after a certain birthday has been and gone.

It’s not just the fashion industry that’s attempting to be more inclusive.

Last summer, Dame Helen Mirren, then 69, was announced as a L’Oréal model - and worked the camera like no other in the campaign snapshots.


Actress Helen Mirren is the face of L’Oréal’s Golden Age campaign. (Photo: L’Oréal)

Here’s hoping that both the fashion and movie industries continue this applaudable streak, and hopefully, in time, we won’t be applauding brands for booking women over the age of 35 to star in their campaigns but instead we won’t blink an eye — because it’ll be the norm.

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