80 years of Lancôme in a 2-minute film

To celebrate this milestone, the luxury beauty major delves into the past to create a evocation of Lancôme’s iconic memories.

The Luxonomist. 23/02/2015
80th anniversary of Lancôme. Image: Lancôme

It used to be a fragrance house when Armand Petitjean founded Lancôme in 1935 in France. His aspiration was to deliver French elegance around the world. The film, titled «Ceci n’est pas une rose» (This is not a rose) and directed by Thomas Tyman captures this very vision of Petitjean. 

But why is the rose special and synonymous to the brand? The name ‘Lancôme’ was inspired by the ruins of Le Château de Lancosme and the roses around the castle inspired the single golden rose symbol. The No-movie  interplays between the brand’s past and present, as beautiful ambassadresses beam alongside Petitjean’s black-and-white figure, roses and jewel cases from the beauty house’s heritage collection, and iconic products of today and tomorrow.  It is a story that inspires a future, backed by 80 years spent listening to women.  You’ll see a timeline of the brand’s gorgeous muses, powerful icons like Isabella Rossellini, Lupita Nyong’o and Penelope Cruz.

80th anniversary of Lancôme. Image: Lancôme. Make clic to buy

The old collides with the new — Flèches, one of the first Lancôme fragrances, comes face-to-face with La vie est Belle, heir to the know-how of a Master Perfumer, cultivated since 1935, and now the symbol of happy beauty.  Everything that the brand was, is and will be, merges into a beautiful dream.

The Surrealist short incorporates a series of scenes that showcase the “house with the rose”, as if in a dream. It uses traditional animation techniques, with each sequence literally unfolding in a real paper theatre. It took 200 hours to hand-cut the 50 elements that comprise the various scenes, which were assembled on a set measuring 800sq m, during a shoot that lasted over 30 hours. “More than a brand film, this is a feel-good movie that encourages women to love life with Lancôme…here, now and for a long time”, noted the brand. 

Another highlight is a coffee-table book published by Editions du Regard, which will be available to purchase from March. Written by Stéphane Guibourgé, it relates the story of a house whose ambition has always been to offer women the freedom to flourish, according to the brand. It features illustrations by David Downtown, Vahram Muratyan and Cécilia Carlstedt, and photographers Charles Helleu, Nico, Alexi Lubomirski and Nick Knight. 

The book will also be present on Lancôme counters, which will begin the brand’s birthday celebrations on 8 March, to mark International Women’s Day. Furthermore, a number of special items will be highlighted on-counter, including limited-edition sets of iconic Lancôme products. Digital celebrations will include the first limited-edition line available exclusively from the Lancôme website: three original colours of L’Absolu Rouge inspired by heritage shades. 

80th anniversary of Lancôme. Image: Lancôme. Make clic to buy

In July, during couture week, Lancôme will host a celebratory evening in Paris featuring ambassadresses past, present and future, along with other key contributors – photographers, directors or make-up artists – who have helped to shape the brand’s image.

Lastly, to close the year, Lancôme will offer two super-deluxe objects to pay tribute to the fine craftsmanship and the French artists who have worked alongside it since the beginning. The first is a new interpretation of the Lancôme lipstick “Les Jumelés”, created in 1958. The second is a jewelled edition of La vie est belle L’Absolu de Parfum. Congrats from The Luxonomist!!!!


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