The young actress takes over the post held previously by the likes of Keira Knightley and Kate Moss.
“Coco Mademoiselle has this incredible quality of being noticeable without being overpowering. So it has a presence, but it has a very elegant presence. And I think that’s—to me—I would say the key role of [what] that scent is,” says Chanel’s director of global creative resources Thomas du Pré de Saint Maur over Zoom. “Whenever you wear it, it helps you to be present to the world.”
Very present to the new world is the new face of Chanel’s enduring fragrance: Ugandan-Canadian actress Whitney Peak, one of the stars of the Gossip Girl reboot. The 20-year-old is described by the brand as “The embodiment of today’s youth,” adding that her “curiosity, confidence, appetite for experiences and lack of preconceptions echo the temperament of the young Coco Chanel.” Peak is not new to working with Chanel. She was first as a brand ambassador, then later on became one of the muses of the 22 Handbag campaign.
“She is the incarnation of Coco Mademoiselle’s original personality,” continues the official press release. “A young woman who moves towards her destiny to become who she truly wants to be.”
Chanel has always put prime importance on the concept of balance in the overall campaign of the Coco Mademoiselle fragrance. With striking the balance comes the unrelenting telling of human stories and narratives, especially in aspects of the feminine.
Peak, for du Pré de Saint Maur, was an easy choice as as the successor British actress Keira Knightley, who had been the face of the fragrance since 2007. The director talks about Knightley’s ability to transform the atmosphere of relationship between people just by who she is and what she gives. “Whitney is exactly the same,” he declares.
For a maison that has very strong codes, du Pré de Saint Maur posits that balance must be struck between the house’s codes with the changing times. “How can we always, in an unexpected way, tell the same story?” he shares.
“It’s always [about] keeping that balance when having the codes because it’s an immediate engagement with the brand, but then it tells a deep story.”
Undoubtedly, the association young fragrance lovers have with Coco Mademoiselle will always be with the Chanel brand. And yet, the balance between the brand association and Chanel’s codes is always found within the stories they tell.
From destiny-chasing, coming-of-age narratives, to themes that center on the freshness and lightness of springtime, Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle will always have evolving stories that breathe new life into every campaign. With Peak as the new face of the maison’s much-adored fragrance, there is a lot to be said about how Chanel strikes that balance between the old and the new.