Alexis Bittar’s latest ads—of his own handiwork, as he doesn’t outsource creative—address age in the most elegant way: images of beautiful women of widely varying ages wearing his jewelry.
The ads, which can be seen in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Town & Country, among others, were released in February and will run through the summer. Featured are Coke-bottle-eyeglass-wearing nonagenarian and fashionista Iris Apfel and actress and Rookiemag.com founder Tavi Gevinson—“Who are separated by 75 years yet are so strong and iconic in their own way,” says Bittar—who serve as models for the Brooklyn-based jewelry designer’s spring/summer 2015 collections of fine and fashion styles.
The raison d’être behind the campaign is to address ageism.
“I feel like most fashion advertisements use images of girls, and they’re generally under 22 and retouched,” observes Bittar. “Usually, when women hit 35, they feel like they’re over in terms of being attractive. The insecurity that develops is so harmful that I think the whole industry needs to change how they’re looking at women. Who are we selling this to? Who’s buying this product? I think the industry itself needs to look at the segment that we’re selling to and adore it.”
Bittar chose his models based on both personal relationships and ones in the making and because they reflect the out-of-the-ordinary spirit of his brand. (He told WWD that the campaign “honed in on the essence of strong women who haven’t conformed.”) History, knowledge, and strength are evident in his choices.
“I first met Iris in 2004—she approached me because she wanted to wear my jewelry to the opening of her exhibit at the Met Costume Institute,” Bittar says. “When you see a woman who’s mature and has lived a full, interesting life, I think that strength of character and experience really come across in an image.”
As for Tavi, well, he’s somewhat of a fan. “Tavi is so strong and so bright,” he adds. “She is only 19 and is just getting started—it’s so exciting to watch her career unfold.”
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