François Nars Shoots and Scores For Vogue Japan

Life is good for François Nars. As one of the most famous makeup artists in the world, he's created a luxe beauty brand (and earned enough to buy a small island in the process). Aside from heading up the Fall 2009 Marc Jacobs show, he's kept a relatively low makeup-artist profile lately, opting to pursue another of his passions, photography. His latest published work is in the new issue of Vogue Japan, in which he's captured models Iekeliene Stange, Julia Dunstall, and Daul Kim. I find it a bit disappointing that none of the models are Japanese — though this isn't the first time Vogue has been called less than culturally sensitive — but the photography itself proves that Mr. Nars's talents go beyond the (blush) brush and into other art forms as well.


I think there's some missing context here regarding the culturally insensitive thing. That might be true in other countries, I don't know, but in Japan I think it's a case of an outsider trying to find a place in a huge market which is already saturated with domestic companies. There are dozens of Japanese magazines featuring mostly Japanese models and Japanese brands. Some magazines use mixed-race models to present an image of "international trends adapted for Japanese tastes"; many other magazines use only 100% Japanese models so the readers can connect with them. Vogue Japan is something of a niche magazine -- the point is that it's not about the domestic viewpoint, it's an international magazine showing international brands, and foreign models reinforce that image. Vogue seems to do the international, cosmopolitan thing well, but I doubt anybody would take them seriously if they tried to compete with the domestic magazines.
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