The last few years have been quite the ride for Sarah Gadon. The actress and fashion mogul first burst onto the scene in 2011, when she starred in Gucci’s #1 ad campaign. Since then, the Italian fashion house has utilized her as their face and voice for many of their products, and she’s collaborated with them on numerous projects, including a jewelry collection designed in partnership with Alexandre Rodont and a fragrance launched in celebration of the designer’s 120th anniversary. In 2018, after an eight-year hiatus, she returned to the big screen with Gucci’s campaign for their Cruise collection.
It was a successful return to the spotlight for the 35-year-old. In fact, the last year has been such a triumph, she decided to celebrate, teaming up with renowned photographer and friend of the brand Peter Lindbergh to create a lavish photobook aptly dubbed ‘The Art of Sarah Gadon.’
The photobook is a lavish celebration of her enviable career, featuring candid portraits from Lindbergh’s archives as well as a handful of exclusive images taken only for this book. In the days leading up to the launch of the Sarah Gadon x Peter Lindbergh book, we ask the question: Can a luxury brand still court controversy?
The Art of Sarah Gadon
The Art of Sarah Gadon is the photographer and fashion mogul Peter Lindbergh’s artistic interpretation of the 35-year-old actress’ career. In the days leading up to the book’s September 2018 publication, Lindbergh stated: “I wanted to make a visual document of Sarah’s journey. It starts with a Gucci campaign in 2011 and then takes us on a glorious ride through fashion, art, and photography. We followed Sarah on her travels both near and far, with a focus on her incredible work with Gucci. It is an amazing celebration of a unique and inspiring woman.”
The result is an artistic masterpiece, and it comes with a hefty price tag. The full-sized hardcover edition of the book is available for purchase for a reasonable £60, but it’s also worth checking out the signed and limited edition art books, which are priced a little higher.
However, it’s not just about the photography. In addition to featuring stunning visuals, the book also includes an introduction by none other than fashion legend Elizabeth Taylor. The former Taylor Hardy Heckerling Center for American Fashion (now the Elizabeth Taylor Center for American Fashion) executive director wrote: “I have known and admired Sarah since her days at Parsons the New School for Design, and it was a great pleasure to see her succeed so quickly in the fashion world. She is a true original, and her work is both inspiring and luxurious. I am proud to be associated with such an important publication.”
Why Does Luxury Branding Still Come Up With Ideas?
Of course, we want to know: Why does luxury branding still come up with ideas?
Perhaps it’s because they have access to some of the most talented people in the industry. Or, perhaps, it’s because there’s still money to be made in a niche market. Whatever the case may be, it would appear that Gucci’s gamble on Sarah Gadon has paid off. Not only did the gamble land them one of the most in-demand actresses of our time, but it also helped establish Lindbergh as an authoritative voice in the industry. The designer has since gone on to partner with the photographer on other projects, including Mario Testino’s Tokyo fashion week capsule collection.
Interestingly, prior to her stint with Gucci, Sarah had actually considered a career in fashion marketing. It seems that she may have had a change of heart, however, after realizing the industry’s shortcomings. In an interview with Lindbergh, she stated: “I didn’t like what I found. The fashion world is so [subjective]… There are no rules. You can do whatever you want, and people will say it’s fabulous. But when there are rules, you’re following them. And when there aren’t any rules, it means that someone has power over you, and you don’t have any power. So, basically, it’s both horrible.”
In the interview, she also went on to discuss the power of women in today’s society, stating: “[Now] more than ever, we need to support each other. Women need to stand together against all kinds of injustices. It’s inspiring to see so many talented and empowered women, like myself, working hard to make the world a better place. This book is a small way to contribute, while also having some fun.”
This sentiment is echoed by Taylor in her introduction to Sarah’s book. The fashion icon wrote: “Women who fight for women’s rights are always among my favorites. In the 1960s, there was a rebellion against traditional feminine roles, and it included a rejection of materialism. However, since the backlash, materialism has come back with a vengeance, and women are aspiring to be more like men, so they can get the attention they desire. But this won’t work. Only when we accept that women are equally capable of expressing emotion and having fun will we be able to move forward as a society. This is a difficult road, but it’s one that will ultimately lead to a better place.”
On this front, it’s evident that Sarah has accepted this role, going above and beyond to champion the careers of other women. She has become such a valuable asset to the fashion industry, that in March 2019, Gucci appointed her as their new Chief Marketing Officer.
A Powerful Voice In The Industry
If you’ve ever shopped at Gucci, you may have noticed that there’s often a paragraph of description beside each product, touting the brand’s influence in fashion and society. In 2019, that influence became even more apparent, as Sarah took on a new role: Chief Marketing Officer of Gucci.
In the press release, CEO Marco Bizzarri said: “[Sarah] brings an extraordinary wealth of knowledge and experience to this role, and we are confident she will lead our marketing team to even greater success. We look forward to working with Sarah as we continue to grow Gucci globally.”
Indeed, with a new baby on the way, Sarah’s hectic schedule seems full for the next few years. However, her commitment to women’s rights and education shines through on every level. Earlier this year, she co-founded the non-profit organization Shethority, dedicated to achieving gender equality in education. In an interview with Business Insider, she said: “I want to use my voice for as many young women as I can, to show them that there are so many successful, inspiring women out there. If we are truly to achieve equality, we need to ensure that women are empowered to believe that they can be whatever they want to be, and that there are no limits to what they can achieve.”
This is precisely the type of woman that luxury brands should embrace. One that isn’t afraid to speak her mind and isn’t afraid to work hard. Now, more than ever, we need women like Sarah Gadon, committed to the future of women and their careers.