Meet the Face of Saint Laurent’s Controversial Ads


Saint Laurent’s Fall 2017 campaign caused quite the stir in Paris last week. Two images from the provocative ad series resulted in a number of complaints to France’s advertising watchdog, Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP), with those who logged them claiming that the images could be degrading to women. The house will attend an official hearing to determine the validity of the complaints this Friday—but in the meantime, we caught up with the face of the campaign, Fernanda Oliveira. The 19-year-old made her debut as an exclusive on SL’s Fall 2017 runway and while she doesn’t comment on the ads, she does say that working with the illustrious house and creative director, Anthony Vaccarello was a dream come true.

Where are you from?
“I was born in Brazil, but grew up in Switzerland. Now I’m based between Paris and New York.”

How were you discovered?
“I wasn’t really discovered, my dad took me to my first agency in Brazil. I always wanted to be a model and he was the first to be believe that I could actually be one.”

How did you come to be cast for Saint Laurent?
“Saint Laurent requested to see me, so I went in and they booked me as an exclusive.”

What was it like to walk the runway for the first time?
“It was intense! My adrenaline was pumping and I was just trying to keep my mind focused. The fact that Saint Laurent asked me to close the show made me feel so happy and grateful.”

Did you enjoy working with Anthony Vaccarello?
“In the beginning I just kept thinking “oh my god, someone famous is talking to me,” but after a while I got used to it. He’s a super nice guy, so classy and educated and it was a pleasure working with him and Alastair McKimm for Fall 2017.”

How did you master your runway walk?
“I guess I just innately knew how to walk the runway, but I had to finesse it. The end result that you see is the product of a a lot practicing.”

Did you have any pre-show nerves?
“No pre-show nerves—I’m the one who makes everyone else relax backstage.”

Have you had negative experiences during castings for your modeling work?
“The only thing I could complain about is not having time for anything else, but the truth is, this is the life I’ve always wanted. I eat fashion, sleep fashion and live for fashion shows, so I couldn’t be happier with the way that my life is going.”

How do you do to stay in shape for your job?
“Sorry for this answer, but I don’t do anything. Thanks goes out to my mom and dad for my genetics.”

Favorite beauty trick?
“I don’t have any beauty tricks as I’m always all natural.”

What would people be most surprised to know about you?
“I’m empathic and funny. People always forget that models are humans too, so I like to joke around and talk a lot to the people I work with so that they get to know me as my own person.”

What are your career goals?
“Actually , I’ve already achieved it. Walking for Saint Laurent was a dream come true and having interviews with people like CR Fashion Book is more than I ever could have imagined. I had so many people trying to put me down, but here I am. I feel like I deserve my place in the modeling world because I’ve fought hard to get here.”

What’s next for you?
“São Paulo Fashion Week. I’m happy to be going back ‘home’ for a while after such an amazing time in Europe.”


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