Born on 1st November 1992, Australian model Codie Young looks set to become one of the best-known faces of the year.
Discovered in 2010, Codie signed with DNA Models. In the same year, she got her first significant booking courtesy of Australian Vogue. Requested specifically by Vogue editor Kirstie Clements, the magazine has a strong history of being loyal to its home-grown talent and eager to develop them into world players. Their track record has produced some serious editorial talent including Catherine McNeil, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Alice Burdeu and Julia Nobis.
That October, Codie featured on the cover of Australian Vogue (photographed by Nicole Bentley). Young wore the purple Miu Miu dress du jour, flanked by a stunning display of pink roses. Also scoring two leading editorials in the same issue, this was a spectacular debut, launching Codie into the world of international modelling.
Codie made her catwalk introduction in February 2011, securing the opening spot in the Marni show. Appearing in nearly 40 shows, she appeared for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Chloe, Erdem, Halston, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Rodarte, Sonia Rykiel, Thakoon and Vanessa Bruno.
Returning to Australian Vogue in April, she made her inaugural appearance in Italian Vogue in August. Photographed by Phil Poynter, the Beatnik-style shoot featured Codie playing a super-cool 60’s ingénue. Capturing the era in detail, this was the point where starlets started becoming fashion icons – you didn’t have to be as big a name as Elizabeth Taylor to make an impact. If you loved fashion and knew how to wear it, your star could rise and rise. The Sixties really cemented the link between fashion and film, with new stars cultivating a style persona independent of their film roles. Names such as Brigitte Bardot and Jean Seberg set the standard which starlets aim to replicate today.
Codie experienced her second big RTW season in September with Young closing the S/S 12 Jill Stuart show. With her other appearances including Carven, House of Holland, Just Cavalli, Mulberry, Peter Pilotto and Tory Burch, Codie was making crucial links with the up and coming labels.
Codie’s editorial work led to other high-profile bookings in Autumn 2011, with a campaign signing for Orla Kiely. Born in Ireland but now based in London, Orla Kiely gives retro English style a knowing, postmodern twist. Kiely excels at prints – her famous leaf pattern has become a design icon. Producing ethical fashion that has seduced everyone from Kirsten Dunst to the Duchess of Cambridge, Codie’s intensity gives the clothing a youthful edge.
Codie finally became the main attraction when i-D magazine invited her to participate in ‘Going for the Gold’, an editorial profiling new talent. Featuring new faces such as Alice Cornish and Tian Yi, this editorial highlighted a fresh group of models who are re-introducing the concept of quirky beauty to an industry that has, in the recent economic turbulence, gone with ‘safe’, familiar faces. However, as the recession continued, the fashion industry realised that playing it safe was not the same as being safe. Hence the explosion of new, interesting faces, with both Saskia de Brauw and Milou van Groesen doing particularly well.
The race to find that next great face is a continuous process. The life-cycle of a model tends to be short, and those who were discovered around 2008-09 are already contemplating the endgame of their careers. The tussle between agencies to sign the next big thing is always present; making a star can be a long-drawn-out process with some models needing a gradual introduction into the fashion world. Others start out the gate much quicker, their look usually finding favour with an influential editor, photographer or designer. Finding that starry face – the one that makes their agency a fortune – is a quick-draw business. Hesitate, and that lucky find goes to a rival agency.
Proving her worth, Codie scored the cover of the December beauty supplement for Italian Vogue. Photographed by Greg Lotus, Codie reprises her role in the earlier Italian Vogue editorial, giving us perfectly-honed Sixties elegance.
Completing a shorter RTW season in February, including Oscar de la Renta and Marchesa, Codie made her British Vogue debut with ‘Spring Forward’. Featuring Emily Baker, Romee Strijd, Elise Crombez and Maria Bradley, Codie makes her first editorial appearance sporting flame-red hair. Going from mid-brown, this bold new look proved to be career-defining, with Codie being snapped up for two major campaigns.
The first, Rebecca Taylor, has been a lucky signing for Codie. A regular on the fashion industry circuit, Taylor has just gone from solid, dependable producer of feminine fashion, to one of the hottest names in the business. Relaunching a vintage blue tweed suit recently worn by Kate Middleton, the ‘Kate Effect’ has transformed Taylor’s fortunes. As face of the brand, Codie benefits by association.
The second signing is the stuff of dreams, with Codie becoming the face of the latest fragrance to be launched by Marc Jacobs.
Following a tough act in the enormously popular ‘Lola’, the new fragrance is named ‘Dot’. It promises to be a small dose of summer; boasting a blend of red berries, dragon fruit, coconut water and jasmine. For many, a new Marc Jacobs perfume is always cause for celebration, but for Codie, this new signing represents a tipping point. Depending on how well-starred this fragrance is in comparison to ‘Daisy’ and ‘Lola’; Young’s career could begin a whole new chapter.
The last big launch for Marc Jacobs fragrances was ‘Lola’ in 2009: a floral scent with an extravagant bottle design whose campaign was fronted by Karlie Kloss. Already on her way to becoming a major name in the fashion industry, the ‘Lola’ signing with Karlie attached had an extraordinary effect on her career. As the fragrance became a hit with young women across the globe, recognition of Karlie grew accordingly. In a matter of months, Karlie went from new kid to the must-book model of the moment. Her fanbase grew from a small band of fashion insiders to a wave of appreciative videos popping up all over YouTube. Blogs were dedicated to the American model, and her work eagerly discussed and dissected. The meteoric rise of Karlie occurred because the campaign and fragrance were both equally strong. We’ve all been seduced into trying a new scent by a glossy campaign but felt let down by the scent: on this occasion, no detail had been overlooked: the perfume could not help but be a smash.
Deciding not to break up a winning formula, the ‘Dot’ campaign works on similar principles to the highly successful ‘Lola’ and ‘Daisy’. Instead of giving us uber-glamour, Codie looks directly into the camera, holding the bottle of perfume – and that’s it. It is what it is, the campaign implies: no tricks or subliminal messaging required. The no-nonsense approach is unique to Jacobs and a strategy that clearly works. The red and black bottle (looking like a ladybird) is appealing and tactile; youthful but not juvenile.
The hiring of the campaign model is crucial to the success of any fragrance: the faces used by Chloe to sell their perfume (including Anja Rubik) were perfectly pitched because the models exuded a cool, modern femininity that played right into the brand’s core values. Think of Chloe and you think of those iconic adverts: Anja the epitome of modern beauty, sub-referencing Chloe’s golden age. That same deep-rooted connection is what every perfume-maker aims for. The right face really can change everything.
Codie’s nonchalant air makes her just right for the latest Marc Jacobs scent. Cool, but not distant; quirky but still relatable; Codie sums up what appeals to the generation who will buy the perfume. Old-school glamour, normally a go-to for many perfumes, would not be right for this campaign; pared-down, fresh-faced beauty will strike a nerve with girls who enjoy fashion, but cultivate their own personal style. The individual, the girl less understood, is who Marc Jacobs really sells to. It is no accident that one of his muses is film-maker Sofia Coppola. Her celebration of new faces including Dakota Fanning and Imogen Poots neatly dovetails with Jacobs’ vision: neither is speaking to the girl who loves her fake tan and hair extensions. This is for the outsider, the girl who is aware of trends, knows fashion, but does it her way.
As the perfume nears its launch date in August, it is entirely reasonable to expect that the campaign will have the same catalyst effect for Codie as it did for Karlie. The perfect, quirky face for a boldly individual generation, Codie Young could be this year’s breakout star.