There is a cohort of geniuses - creative, technical, intellectual and the like - that are responsible for the way the world experiences their day-to-day. Apple’s Steve Jobs and WiFi-inventor Hedy Lamarr come to mind, alongside a name much closer to MECCA; creative visionary and beauty industry iconoclast, Mr. Nars.
Almost every beauty experience from the 80’s onwards has been touched by the lessons and breakthroughs afforded to us by Mr. Nars; in the way that we apply complexion products and how they look on our skin, in the colours we put on our lips and cheeks, in the pendulum of trends we swing between, and especially notable right now, in the world’s expressive and sensorial beauty vocabulary. Decades before there were ‘strawberry’ or ‘tomato’ cheeks, there was Orgasm.
The Kind of Life They Write Movies About
Brought up in the south of France by his mother, Claudette, a sartorial savant and Mr. Nars’ “very first inspiration” (his second being Yves Saint Laurent), the young creative was head down in French Vogue before teenhood. His love of sketching the faces in the magazines turned into formal artistry training in Paris, getting plucked by Polly Mellen, moving to New York, and redefining beauty as the world knew it.
This manifested in his work with major publications, the world’s most coveted designers, and history-making photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel and Helmut Newton. “We were obsessed with beauty, elegance and perfection,” says Mr. Nars in his new documentary, ‘Unknown Beauty’. “If we didn’t have that much fun, I’m not sure we could have created such great images; it was like the perfect storm.”
And when he wasn’t leading a new wave of beauty, Mr. Nars was doing what every NYC cool kid was doing at the time: rubbing shoulders with the in-crowd at Studio 54.
Putting Beauty On The Runway
The Original Glitter-er
When Kim K Was the Face of Makeup, Mr. Nars Took it All Off
More Than Just a Name
Mr. Nars, a visionary and cinefile, has curated his greatest influences and muses - from Parisian models of the ‘70s to scenes from the underground of ‘90s New York - into a documentary that brings the world of NARS to life. You can watch Unknown Beauty now, via Apple TV.