Looking trim, toned and powerful, 44-year-old Naomi Campbell makes an eye-popping return to lingerie modeling as the new face of Agent Provocateur‘s spring 2015 collection.
It’s also a statement-making return to form for the erotic UK lingerie brand, which a year ago delivered a photoshoot that showed teenage model Hailey Clauson on her hands and knees, scrubbing the kitchen floor.
Agent Provocateur likes to use its marketing tools to explore different archetypes of female power, but the new photo campaign, called Wanted Badly, ventures into sinister new territory by portraying Naomi as a seductive-but-dangerous hit woman. Killer queen, indeed.
The campaign lensed by Ellen von Unwerth (herself a former model) riffs on stereotypes of the fictional femme fatale, inspired by movie crime thrillers like Lost Highway and Body Double.
“A perfect crime is played out in deliciously high drama and heart-racing glamour,” the company says in a press release.
Outfitted in a variety of peekaboo and fetish-friendly looks from AP’s next collection, Naomi gets some unconventional accessories: a cell phone, handcuffs and a shovel for burying the evidence. And anyone who’s ever seen a murder mystery knows there’s a body in the trunk of that vintage T-Bird.
But beyond the obvious messaging in this campaign, Agent Provocateur is also lending its considerable industry weight to a couple of other important issues impacting the fashion and modeling world: age and race.
Naomi, one of the original 1990s supermodels and the first black model to appear on the cover of Time, was one of the leaders of the Diversity Coalition in 2013 that called out fashion brands for excluding black models. Since the launch of the Balance Diversity initiative, there’s been some meaningful progress on the issue, notably in the lingerie industry, and the new AP campaign gives Naomi an opportunity to lead the way.
And, post-40, she is one of a growing number of models who are defying the formidable age barriers in the industry by continuing to model erotic fashions with confidence. And let’s just state the obvious: after a decade of lurid scandals and worrisome behaviour, Naomi looks phenomenal.
There’s a massive cohort of middle-aged-and-older women who will be absolutely thrilled to see the new Naomi, the original agent provocateur if there ever was one.