Elle Fanning is gushing over the phone about her co-star in the campaign for Miu Miu Twist, the new fragrance for which she is the face. But the object of her adoration isn’t a male model with his shirt off flexing his oil-soaked abs (which would be predictable and clichéd). “A lot of perfumes are all about sensuality,” says Fanning. “It’s always a man and a woman in the ad, and it never really has a story. This is different.”
“A lot of perfumes are all about sensuality. It’s always a man and a woman in the ad, and it never really has a story. This is different.”
That’s because in the campaign video, which features an alien, disco dancing and a healthy dose of teeth-exposed laughter, an itty-bitty white kitten stars opposite the 20-year-old actress. “With Miu Miu, Mrs. Prada mixes cuteness with sass and edge,” says Fanning. “And that’s kind of what a cat is, isn’t it? It has this mysterious slyness but is also so sweet and precious.” Sounds a little like Fanning herself.
But a dual demeanour isn’t the only thing the Maleficent star shares with fluffy felines; both have been longtime muses for Miu Miu. Fanning starred in her first campaign for the house when she was just 14 and did her first catwalk (er, kittenwalk?) for its Fall 2018 show. Yet despite feeling that she has “grown up” with the brand, she has a hard time pinpointing why she thinks Miu Miu was drawn to her as a peculiar preteen.
“Oh, gosh, I don’t know. I was a kid who always expressed myself through my clothes,” she says, adding that her mother allowed her to wear whatever she wanted to school, which sometimes invited ridicule. “Even if I was made fun of for my quirkiness, the fashion world really accepted me for it.” Though she has now traded in eccentric playground looks for designer garb, her giggles and dancing in the campaign video reveal that she hasn’t lost her sense of playfulness. “It’s nice that they let me go with that and show my silly side.”
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