Ask Alexandra: Kristen Stewart for Balenciaga

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Alexandra,

I was surprised to read that Nicolas Ghesquière has tapped Kristen Stewart, a somewhat mainstream choice as the face of a new Balenciaga fragance. I have a feeling the Gainsbourg scent hasn’t sold well due to her cult/insider status. Do you think this has more to do the fragrance having mass appeal more than anything else – and will it hurt the brand’s avant-garde image in your opinion?

xxxx

Dear Rajan,

I think you answered your own question. Yes, I think it is because Kristen Stewart is very mainstream (whereas Gainsbourg probably wasn’t mainstream enough), and Balenciaga are probably trying to get a larger market share of the incredibly profitable luxury fragrance business.

Do I think it will hurt the brand’s avant-garde image? Yes, a little. But I think the benefit of reaching out to this new audience will far outweigh the loss of a few “cool” customers. I get the feeling that Ghesquière has been muscled into choosing a mainstream face for the fragrance, how else are they to compete with the celebrity perfumes and actress-fronted campaigns seen in almost all other style-related sectors?

xxxx

However, I should say that as much as I loathe the Twilight series (well, I saw one on a plane, and that was enough), I think we have yet to see the full “potential” of Kristen Stewart. In a world of tacky, glossy celebrities, she does stand out a little. I am by no means saying I like her, but she makes me less sick than most other celebrities. Her media profile seems well-controlled, and I think that with the right moves and well-chosen future projects, she may be able to build herself a respectable profile. Which means Balenciaga will be seen as having been ahead of the game. Either that, or she just ends up being super tacky like the rest of them. But regardless of the outcome, Balenciaga will survive this.

Both images are of Kristen Stewart wearing Balenciaga. Credits: top and bottom.

  • Emma Allen

    I am shocked by the choice. She has no style, she looks grumpy and shabby most of the time. I really cannot see any link at all between her and Balenciaga. Just an odd, odd choice

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=823115573 Erin Harder

    As much as she is somewhat of a nauseating actress (aka always acting the same in each role), she is quite beautiful. Balenciaga could do much worse than Kristin Stewart because these ads could turn out to be amazing. Besides, I don’t know that true fans of the brand would be turned off by perfume ads…selling perfume is entirely different than anything else brands usually put out. It would be quite amusing if someone claimed to be a fan of Gucci because they buy their perfumes.

  • Anonymous

    Good point!

  • Shining Mimi

    She doesn’t make you sick? Seriously? She is not as stupid as Megan Fox but my opinion is the same as Emma.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like her, but she doesn’t make me sick. There are celebs much, much worse than her. If I did a chart of female celebs, with 10 being “respectable” (can’t think of a 10 right now, but would put Julia Roberts and Carey Mulligan in the 8s or 9s)  and 0 being “trash” (anyone from The Hills, the Kardashians, etc…) then Kristen Stewart would be a 5. So no, she isn’t vomit-inducing, but we can find women much, much worse than her.

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  • Shining Mimi

    Well, I had forgotten the Kardashians and I don’t even know what The Hills actually is. I think they are just irrelevant to me. But yeah, putting in this way, Kristen doesn’t seem at all bad. I still think she has no style and it’s annoying but I think you’re right.