François Nars is the make-up artist to celebrities. With his exclusive and highly specialised range of make-up products sought by the world’s top stores, Nars has been lured back into taking command of make-up backstage and working on a number of exciting projects. Kavita Kaul caught up with him and posed a few questions.
KK: During your long absence, how did you keep yourself busy?
FN: When I stopped doing shows I was over-saturated. I had just purchased my island (Motu Tane, in Tahiti) and had invested all my energy into it with my house and portraits of Tahitians for a book on Polynesia that was finally published in 2013. I was also developing my own make-up line and shooting our campaigns and it was that energy and adrenaline that I missed.
KK: How did your friend Marc Jacobs lure you back?
FN: We’ve known each other since the beginning of our careers. During New York Fashion Week almost all the shows boasted a very subdued look. This time, the theme was 80’s “New York by Night”. We lived through it together and we could finally create something strong and bold.
KK: Did you find yourself approaching it differently?
FN: We wanted to have fun and create something different. We did that by creating 65 different, fun and energetic looks.
KK: How do you feel about what you’ve accomplished so far, and what are you yet to achieve?
FN: I’m happy but never satisfied. You have to keep working, improving and striving.
KK: What are your three survival tactics for staying in the game?
FN: Humour, love and friendship. With those things, you can never lose.
KK: What do you love about photography that make-up artistry doesn’t provide; and vice versa?
FN: Capturing a moment of somebody’s life on film is so wonderful. As a make-up artist you are in control of someone’s look; his or her beauty, inside and out. That is something that photography doesn’t provide.
KK: Tell me about your collaborations with designers…the process…your favourite outcomes?
FN: Always listening, watching, and, trying to understand a designer’s state of mind. Trying to see what is behind the vision and translating, that is the main part of my process. It’s a challenge and fun and always ends up being a learning and growing experience. When you understand someone and can create something physical that embodies his or her vision- that is my favourite part.
KK: What would you like to be your legacy?
FN: That I’ve helped women all over the world feel and look their best. It’s so glamorous to be uniquely beautiful.
KK: What should the public prepare themselves for the next season?
FN: Having more fun with make-up! Enjoying life with wilder looks is something I would love to see more of and I believe that this is the season to start doing that.
KK: What is the next step for you?
FN: To keep moving forward and keep being NARS- the person, the brand, the lifestyle.
Kavita Kaul comes from one of London’s brightest generations of vanguard make-up artists who relocated to NYC after working on some of the city’s most directional titles.
François Nars is, obviously, a maqulliage legend.