At 80 years old, the iconic beauty stars in a new campaign for the brand and reveals how her first ad for Chanel changed her life.
Fifty-four years after she made her debut as the face of Chanel No. 5 fragrance, Ali MacGraw returns to the storied French house to star in a campaign for Chanel’s J12 watch collection.
In a black and white video helmed by French creative Brigitte Lacombe, the 80-year-old model and actress gets candid in-front of the camera. In less than 60 seconds, MacGraw touches on life in the ’60s and ’70s and the most defining moment of her career.
“Obviously, a watch is to tell time if you’re obsessed with time. But, I’ve always thought of it as special jewelry,” she says while looking down at her white watch from Chanel’s J12 collection. Keeping the look timeless, she wears a white button-down shirt and her hair pulled back in a ponytail.
MacGraw also reflects on her youth and what it was like coming of age during the counterculture movement. “I had this major moment like anyone my age did in the ’60s and the ’70s when music was extraordinary and when almost suddenly we were able to live with optimism and freedom. We could do whatever we wanted to,” she says of the rebellious era.
And as for what MacGraw would do if time were no longer an issue? “That’s a long list.”
When asked about her career-defining moment, MacGraw throws it back to her time as a model, when her girl next door look helped to push a bare-faced and low-maintenance beauty standard. “When I was asked to do an ad for Chanel No. 5. An agent saw that picture in a drugstore somewhere in New York and asked me if I would like to be in the movies, for which I had no qualifications. I guess the rest is history,” she adds with a smile.
Along with MacGraw, Chanel also tapped eight other women including supermodels Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer, along with the longtime face of the brand Keira Knightley and Lily-Rose Depp, to star in the new campaign.