LOS ANGELES–There were dozen of celebs at Tuesday night’s Miu Miu party to celebrate the brand’s new Noir line of sunglasses, but it was Hailee Steinfeld, the face of the brand and star of that fantastic Bruce Weber lensed-campaign, that sent flashbulbs popping. I caught up with the 14-year-old actress (who spent most of the evening chatting with Tavi Gevinson–new bestie alert?).
Steinfeld told us she’s “in love” with Miu Miu and feels honored to be repping the label. And as for the transition from acting to print modeling? Turns out it’s not so foreign.
“It’s kind of funny because when I was younger I did a lot of print and then I went more into acting so I had a little deja vu when I went back to it, doing the whole modeling thing again,” she said. “I had such an amazing time filming especially working with Bruce Weber.”
Though the campaign might seem far from controversial–the teen actress is covered up and her poses are hardly suggestive–some critics have taken issue with her age, arguing that she’s too young to be the face of a label whose clothes are meant to be worn by and priced for grown ups. “I think Hailee Steinfeld is too young to be the face of a designer campaign. Sorry,” Mary H.K. Choi wrote over at MTV Style. She explains: “I just feel like the platonic ideal of beauty these days seems a little screwy and is quickly becoming more bonkers…My concern is that I don’t want 12-year-olds to know about $500-$1,200 ballet flats. I don’t want them to get it twisted that they have to dress in the demure gown that a 50-year-old who had to endure four divorces to claw her way to a specific tax bracket would also wear.” Daily Mail style director Liz Jones said she thinks it’s “obscene that a child of 14, no matter she is a star, no matter how sophisticated, is used to peddle designer fashion, surely as bad for teen girls as smoking or underage sex.”
Of course it didn’t help matters that 13-year-old Elle Fanning is fronting Marc by Marc Jacobs’ fall campaign and on the pages of every major glossy, including this month’s Vogue. (Her older sister Dakota was the face of Marc Jacobs collection when she was just 12).
But Steinfeld doesn’t think she’s too young to be the face of Miu Miu.
“Honestly I think the best part about this collection and the campaign is the fact that it’s so sophisticated–it’s timeless,” she said. “And I think for younger girls like me it works. It feels appropriate.”
We think it works, too. Miu Miu is the quirky little sister to Prada. Steinfeld was a fan of the brand before she became it’s face, wearing Miu Miu–sans controversy–on red carpet after red carpet. Her red carpet choices were hailed by critics as both fashion forward and age appropriate because she wore brands like Miu Miu–whimsical little dresses that never showed too much. And as Susie Bubble pointed out, “this is a consenting young adult who is already acting in films where the subject matter is more harrowing than the premise of this fashion campaign.”
What’s your take? Is Hailee too young?