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François Nars: Today's Culture is "Vulgar"

François Nars: Today's Culture is "Vulgar"

It's pretty rare to see an interview with François Nars, and even in this one, he's not exactly what you'd call a blabbermouth. But what he does say reveals a lot about his brand philosophy. And he's certainly had great success with his line of cosmetics—making enough money to purchase a small island in the South Pacific.

On starting his own company: "I never thought make-up was like brain surgery. I just wanted a line that made sense, using my 25 years of experience. I was never saying there was a whole message behind it. You can always romanticise these things and invent stuff – and some people do that well – but I'm very down-to-earth."

To find out why François thinks modern culture is vulgar, and why he digs girls with freckles,

On nostalgia: "I hate the vulgarity of today – it's something that kills me. Everything is overexposed. There is no mystery any more. There was a time when you would dream about, say, movie stars. Now, you virtually follow them into their bathroom when they're going to the loo. People say to me, 'Well, that's the way it goes.' But I don't know what went wrong. It's not that I'm easily shocked. It takes a lot to shock me. And wildness I like. But vulgarity shocks me. And there's so much of it today. And it's going to be hard to reverse it because it's really taking over like mad. If you're a very sensitive person, you can start to think, 'Why bother any more?' But there are ways to still keep yourself happy. For instance, I focus on creative things like make-up."

On casting models: "I wanted to get away from the typical over-retouched, over-plasticised blonde with blue eyes. To find girls with freckles or the features of a Fellini actress. And to see the skin. To see they were human. I wanted to make women feel more confident so they could say, 'OK, if I don't look like those blonde, plastic girls, well, there's still a place for me out there. I can survive.' It's changing now. But I hope I've been a part of that process."

The idea of casting models with a little something "off" is typical today, but when Nars started in 1996, it was still unusual. It's clearly been a successful move for him. And based on his comments, it looks like we won't be seeing any celebrities in his campaigns anytime soon. But if he needs a quirky beauty, I know just the right person.... (François! Telephonez-moi!)


halo0073 halo0073 9 years
love him!
diy diy 9 years
I agree...Vulgarity is a dime a dozen these days...NARS' line is phenominal!
DCStar DCStar 10 years
HAHA...I think I get his point, but I was laughing out loud when I read this interview, and I immediately thought about his products called "orgasm" and "deep throat" and all of his other VERY suggestively named products.
aSLAMMINhottie aSLAMMINhottie 10 years
Madness...a successful person in the beauty industry who can finds beauty in the things that make one autonomous! Oh I like it, do you know I do?
chatnoir chatnoir 10 years
I love Nars.. what a cool guy!
kimmyfox kimmyfox 10 years
So freckles are considered "off"? That sucks.
tati33 tati33 10 years
smart guy! need to try at least one of his products
zeldaf zeldaf 10 years
There's a slight to significant difference, depending on your viewpoint, b/n calling a blush "Orgasm" and "Deep Throat". "Deep Throat", the movie, wouldn't have had the same appeal had it not been vulgar. If it had been about, say, tonsillectomies. I don't mind vulgarity but don't dress it up and call it something else.
Tnkrbelli Tnkrbelli 10 years
I agree 100% with everything he said. I think that some people were meant to be born in the 30's & 40's just because back then Hollywood was innocent and not trashy. The trash was something that wasn't openly discussed and when it was it was really juicy gossip. Now, the vulgarity permits that we see these "celebs", who I really wouldn't call stars because they don't twinkle and aren't uber-intriguing, acting in ways that are just disgusting and quite frankly I think Hollywood is a joke these days. He sounds like a great man!
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 10 years
He sounds interesting.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
I couldn't agree more..especially about how vulgar society has become. Sticky, I was wondering the same thing.
redegg redegg 10 years
Nice opinions!
the-makeup-blogette the-makeup-blogette 10 years
i like his opinions! woot!
Pumpkin-Queen Pumpkin-Queen 10 years
I like him.. seems decent
EatYourVeggies EatYourVeggies 10 years
Finally someone from the industry who knows how it is. His point of view is refreshing.
pinkcocoa pinkcocoa 10 years
I'm sorry, but I don't entirely know much about Fellini movies. What do his leading ladies look like?
GiggleSugar GiggleSugar 10 years
I love Francois's distinction between "wild" and "vulgar." There's a fine line between them, but I think I know what he means. Perhaps "wild" is naming one of your blushes "Orgasm." "Vulgar" is actually having (or faking, more likely) an orgasm in front of a camera, for the public!
Orangecrush43 Orangecrush43 10 years
Hes' Smart
zeldaf zeldaf 10 years
The guy who called one of his blush colors "Deep Throat" hates the vulgarity of modern society?
diorbaby diorbaby 10 years
I am freckled!!!!!
nikkih nikkih 10 years
I was wondering the same thing, colormesticky! :P
nikecold nikecold 10 years
Finally someone who doesn't feel the need to talk complete BS.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 10 years
Wow, he's quite interesting.
ANP_NYC ANP_NYC 10 years
You wonderful, wonderful man. Love him and his make-up.
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
25 years experience? How old is he, he's gorgeous!
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