In Conversation with — Francois Nars

Francois Nars is the celebrity make-up artist to celebrities. With his exclusive and highly specialised range of make-up products being sought by the world’s top stores, last year saw Nars being lured back into taking command of make-up backstage and working on a number of exciting projects such as a special limited edition book to celebrate 15 years of his own label. Kavita Kaul caught up with him prior to his scheduled launch this year of a new photography project.

Francois Nars

Francois Nars

KV: After a 10 year absence what have you been keeping yourself busy with?

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 will be out in 2010. I was also developing my own makeup line and shooting our campaigns and it was that energy and adrenalin that I missed.

KV: 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.

KV: 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.

KV: 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.

KV: What are your three survival tactics for staying in the game?

FN: Humour, love and friendship. With those things, you can never lose.

KV: What do you love about photography that makeup artistry doesn’t provide and vice versa?

FN: Capturing a moment of somebody’s life on film is so wonderful. As a makeup artist you are in control of someone’s look, his or her beauty, inside and out. That is something that photography doesn’t provide.

KV: 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.

KV: 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.

KV: What should the public prepare themselves for this next season?

FN: Having more fun with makeup! 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

KV: What is the next step for you?

FN: To keep moving forward and keep being NARS- the person, the brand, the lifestyle.

Natasha Poly in 15the Anniversary Francois Nars book

Natasha Poly in 15the Anniversary Francois Nars book