TOKYO — In a bid to break beyond Japanese shores, cosmetics and beauty firm Kosé has named British supermodel Kate Moss as the face of its ultra-luxury line, Decorté.
Known for the past 45 years as Cosme Decorté, Kosé plans to drop the "Cosme" from the brand and relaunch it via its largest-ever global ad campaign.
For the photo shoot, Kosé worked directly with photographer Mario Testino. The campaign will feature both print and TV in September. Moss will also be in a pre-release behind-the-scenes video in August. The initial campaign will highlight the Moisture Liposome franchise, a face serum that sells well in Japan, as well as the new Liposome Treatment Liquid. It is understood that the campaign is managed by Hakuhodo.
According to Kosé, in response to questions from Campaign Asia-Pacific, Moss was chosen because she identifies as a "citizen of the world" and is known globally for her "beauty and forward style."
"As Decorté starts a new chapter, we are pleased to work with the globally recognized and revered Kate Moss," said Kosé President and CEO Kazutoshi Kobayashi in the company's official statement. "It’s the perfect pairing."
But is truly the perfect pairing? Moss is an interesting choice for the Japanese brand because although she has fronted campaigns for luxury brands Dior and Burberry, she is best known in the beauty world as the face of cheap and cheerful, youth-targeted British cosmetics line Rimmel — a role she has held for 14 years.
Kosé however, insists that it does not identify the expensive and skincare-driven Decorté brand by age, "but rather by an overall spirit and attitude." This lifestyle demographic, added the spokesman, is "savvy, knows and understands quality, and wants beauty balanced with respect and intelligence."
Moss, said Kosé, is the perfect embodiment of today’s woman and one that Decorté wants to project: beautiful, intelligent, worldly, rule-breaker and successful," said the brand.
While certainly a rule-breaker, one wonders why Kosé wants its hyper-luxury brand associated with the pioneer of heroin chic. Even at 41, Moss still makes worldwide headlines for her "wild child" behavior. In June, the celebrity was escorted off an EasyJet plane for being "drunk and unruly" and was reported to have called the pilot a "basic bitch."
Moss is also the face (and body) of artificial tanning product line St Tropez, which is not an aesthetic traditionally associated with Japanese beauty.
Whether either Moss or Kosé thought this deal through is cast in further doubt by Moss’ apparent unfamiliarity with the brand prior to her appointment as its ambassador. Described as an "instant fan," Moss’ commented "I just tried the intensive moisturizer — it’s incredible. I really want it to come to Europe."
Kosé evidently hopes that having Moss, the UK's highest-paid model, as a brand ambassador will grant its Decorté line global appeal. But most women outside Japan may identify Moss more for her rebel-rocker tendencies than for her elegance or intelligence. Time will tell, but this partnership could turn out to be a rather expensive mistake for Kosé.
This article first appeared on campaignasia.com.