So, how does it make you feel?
That’s what everyone’s been asking me now that giant pictures of me are plastered all over the streets of Paris and France.
Because, you see, dear readers, I’m a top model. That’s right, are you surprised? My sublime beauty hasn’t struck you like lightning? My goddess body? My constantly slightly open mouth?
Ah, thankless, all of you!
I’m the new face of Galeries Lafayette, and it’s honestly one of the biggest things that’s ever happened to me in terms of bigger than life things. My face on entire subway cars. Blown up to an enormous size on the front of the Galeries Lafayette building. My voice on the radio.
The kind of “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment that made Delphine—my agent, confidant and friend, say: I wouldn’t be surprised if you got an Oscar one day.
I’M WORKING ON IT, DELPHINE, I’M WORKING ON IT.
If I started my career as a top-model at age 41, surely I can dream of getting an Osc…No, the Nobel Prize for Literature when I’m…71. Or maybe the Nobel Peace Prize? All I can say is, life is full of surprises.
Anyway, enough silliness. Now I’m going to give you my secret to success and fulfilling your destiny in life. Here it is, it’s simple:
I drink a big glass of lemon water in the morning.
What? That’s what you’re supposed to say when you’re a top model, right?
Okay, okay, seriously, enough silliness.
How do I feel about it? It’s strange. Of course, I knew it would happen. Especially because I received the email suggesting the idea.
Here’s the answer I came up with in my head, in my heart, and in my body:
“HEEEELLLP THIS CAN’T BE POSSIBLE, me, seriously? You thought of me to embody the relaxed, approachable but glamorous Parisian with an innate and incomparable sense of style? Aaaaaarrrrgh! For one of the most famous department stores in the world? AND YOU WANT MY FACE TO BE THE MAIN DISPLAY? ME? Little me? Yes, of course I’ll do the campaign, where do I sign right away, and you want to pay me too? Because if not, that’s okay, if you don’t have the money, I can pay you instead RIGHT DELPHINE? No? Oh, okay.”
And here’s the gist of my email:
“Dear Galeries Lafayette team, Yes, the project sounds interesting, and I have a special relationship with your store, as I’ve been shopping there for years. Can I put you in contact with…etc. etc. etc. etc.”
Then when Delphine texted me one day to let me know the project was confirmed:
“AAAAARRRGGGHHHHHH” was my only response, probably exactly the kind of reaction my top model colleague Gigi Hadid has when she gets a new contract. I mean, I think so, anyway.
Then, I knew it was going to happen, because I also shot the campaign, you know…
Let’s pretend I never told myself I absolutely needed a total body makeover to be ready for the campaign. Obviously, I failed miserably and ended up arriving as my totally normal, usual self.
I landed in the strong arms of the photographer (who I’m sure is a top model himself, in his spare time) Matteo Montanari and his team of vigorous and extremely sexy professional assistants, in a real hotbed of hair and makeup talent of the highest caliber because Galeries Lafayette is not kidding around.
(Note how, like any soon-to-be Oscarized, humble, charitable, gifted and talented star, I’m trying to make you believe that my beauty is absolutely ordinary and I’d be nothing without my team of makeup artists even though, well, you know)
Next, I jumped around in heels for an entire day (everyone was telling me: wow, it’s so nice working with you, seriously, not only are you beautiful, you’re also amazingly humble and adorable and you jump really well in heels!!!)
(I’ve already explained to you many times that if you have an ego problem, the fashion world is a perfect place for it to inflate with no limits, as we’ve seen several times with fashion designers in recent years. It can lead to an ego explosion (which often happens live on Twitter or Instagram) but don’t insist, I won’t say any names—I’d get uninvited to things and that’s annoying.)
So I’m hearing those nice things, but in my head it’s more like:
“HEEEELLLP THIS CAN’T BE POSSIBLE, me, seriously? You thought of me to embody the relaxed, approachable but glamorous Parisian with an innate and incomparable sense of style? Aaaaaarrrrgh? For one of the most famous department stores in the world? AND YOU WANT MY FACE TO BE THE MAIN DISPLAY? ME? Little me? Yes, of course I’ll do the campaign, where do I sign right away, and you want to pay me too? Because if not, that’s okay, if you don’t have the money, I can pay you instead RIGHT DELPHINE? No? Oh, okay.”
Yes, I just copied and pasted the paragraph above, but I’ll add this:
“Yes, of course, Matteo, I’ll jump around in heels as much as you want. Again? Okay!!! Where do you want me!? You want me to roll around on the ground while barking like a dog? No problem, definitely!!! Right away!!!”
Anyway, I knew this campaign was going to happen, but, how do I put this—I’m the type of person who lives in the present. Nothing is real until you’re staring the final outcome in the face. You never know. I’m super philosophical. No seriously, I swear, you can be a top model and a philosopher. Which is where my next Nobel Prize will come from, if you follow.
So I knew it was coming, but I didn’t think about it.
Even when I saw the photos:
“Oh, so pretty! Hmm, there aren’t any photos of me jumping?”
Even when I caught my New York-Paris flight to go launch the campaign. I wasn’t thinking about it. I was thinking:
“Do they have a gluten free* menu?”
Even when I started getting ready to go to the Galeries Lafayette, the day of the launch, I still wasn’t thinking about it. I thought:
“If I bring shoes with heels that aren’t too high, I can go walk around the sunny streets of Paris during my two-hour break this afternoon!”
Even when I got in my car, I thought:
Well actually, I didn’t think anything at all because my chauffeur was Kim Kardashian’s chauffeur during her recent visit to Paris, if you see what I mean. We had to debrief.
And suddenly, I saw it. I saw the enormous poster with my face on it and well, at that moment, I have to say it had a little effect on me. I took a few photos with Delphine, and I posted on my Instagram before I’d even had time to digest the moment, because, how can I put this—I’m a woman of my generation? If it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen?
After that, I entered the building and I was everywhere—photos, videos, even my voice. I still didn’t fully realize what was happening. Then I did my promo day, I took my break, put on my comfortable shoes, and Delphine and I went for a walk, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I think that’s when I started to realize how huge this campaign was. In the metro, all the posters, I saw myself wherever I went. I was everywhere.
“Wait, being on this show is a famous people thing. I’m famous.”
But even so, it stopped there. The feeling that came over me when I saw myself everywhere, when I received tons of texts congratulating me, was above all, gratitude for life and for all the people who put their trust in me. Thanks to moments like this, I can continue my adventure.
And when I read the very sweet comments on Instagram, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the community that’s been supporting me with so much warmth and kindness for all these years.
You can’t know what it means to me, all that enthusiasm and support. You can’t.
I don’t even know how I can return all that love. I don’t know.
So I think about other things. It might sound like I’m kind of detached, but I’m letting things calm down a bit, I’m taking time to appreciate it. To know I’m so incredibly lucky and that maybe, like so many of you told me in the comments, maybe I even deserved it a little bit. I have no idea, but I do listen to you all.
But one thing is sure: I know I’ll never be blasée.
So, there you have it, that’s the effect this has had on me!
So thank you to the Galeries Lafayette team for giving me this honor, and I hope people will hurry in to your stores thanks to me. That would be crazy and amazing, and maybe I can jump in heels once again!
* Yes, it’s true. No, I swear. It’s not my fault, it’s my doctor. I have to stop eating inflammatory foods for a while. I know. Come on, let’s just not talk about it.
Translated by Andrea Perdue