We’ve been seeing a lot of Cameron Diaz lately. She’s been on the talk show tour chatting about The Body Book, her debut—and best-selling!—writing endeavor; she’s been strolling the red carpet with Leslie Mann and Kate Upton to promote their new new movie, The Other Woman. One place she hasn’t turned up, though, is in her first campaign for Pour la Victoire as the company’s artistic director.
So why has the actress decided to stay so behind-the-scenes? Mainly because she’s far more interested in highlighting stylish, modern women from all walks of life—not just models and movie stars. "My goal as artistic director is that our brand doesn’t presume to tell you who or what you should be, it is meant to help you be who you are," she told us. "We believe in celebrating victories, large or small, from personal to professional to creative and empowering women who are fully engaged in their passions."
One such passionate woman that Diaz finds especially inspiring is the face of Pour la Victoire’s spring 2014 collection, Olya Zueva. Tall, leggy and with the most amazing Jane Birkin-esue bangs, Olya looks like a runway regular, but the bulk of her time is spend on the other side of the camera—modeling is just a way to fund her filmmaking career. "Olya has been an amazing partner in this endeavor—she is the embodiment of the spirit of PLV. She is interested and interesting and she truly lives life with her eyes wide open. She is modern, self-possessed and relatable, with an effortless sense of personal style."
We sat down with Olya herself to learn a little more about her career, work with PLV, and—obviously!—hanging out with Cameron. Read on for the scoop, and watch the full Pour la Victoire video campaign below!
Lucky: Since your main focus is filmmaking, how did you become involved in the fashion industry and modeling?
Olya: I went to a public casting call in my hometown, Vladivostok, Russia.
How do you balance it with your filmmaking career?
I do modeling very selectively these days. It doesn’t take much of my time, so I can concentrate on filmmaking.
Do the two jobs ever cross over?
If you asked me this question a while ago, I’d say no. But now things are changing—people from the fashion industry [have started] paying attention to me as a filmmaker. PLV just hired me to do a video for their next Fall/Winter campaign, which is very exciting. I can see how the two will cross over even more in the future.
How did you get involved with Pour la Victoire, and what about the brand appealed to you?
When I was getting my BA at the New School, I made friends with Jhonathan Mendez de Leon, who does PR for PLV. One day he rang me up and asked me to come over for a meet-and-greet. I loved the team, the product, the whole PLV concept of victory and empowerment. But what appealed to me the most about the brand was that it’s very free spirited. They didn’t have that corporate, stuck-up thing—everyone is young and cool, but not hipster cool, sophisticated cool. They are open to new things and have very different branding approach. They are just so opposite of the obvious. Plus, the Cameron Diaz factor was irresistible!
I heard all the clothes in the shoot were yours. Tell me a little bit about your style and how it worked with the PLV accessories.
I like to dress feminine with a touch of a edge, a less threatening, modern day femme fatale (laughs). I prefer simple, classic forms: less is more. I don’t pay too much attention to current trends, and refuse to spend too much money on shopping. In that sense, PLV is my brand. I also love to dress a bit conservative sometimes; I like how it goes with my liberal but refined attitude!
Although you were working with your clothes, Cameron helped with styling—did she put things together in a way you wouldn’t have thought of?
I think Cameron is very astute. Sometimes I’d try something on and I’d think: “I’m not loving this…” And before I even finished my thought, she’d be like, “Let’s try something else!” It was important for her that we stay authentic. The team and her kept saying they wanted it to be real.
What was it like working with Cameron? Did she give you any good style and beauty tips?
Working with Cameron didn’t feel like work, at least for me. She is really fun to be around. She is smart, cracks jokes all the time, and she pays attention to others. We talked about film, nutrition, body; friends and family values; shoes, bags, and politics! I was just like, "Tell me more!" She is genuine, and acts surprisingly normal for the movie star that she is. She shared her homemade lunch with me, which was adorable.
As for the tips, she didn’t give me tips, per se. But spending time with her was very inspiring. I was really impressed by her dedication. She showed up on set at the same as everyone else and was directing every step of the process, from makeup to styling. That’s when you know she takes everything she does seriously—be it a Hollywood film or a fashion shoot. It’s just so great to see how one woman can be a model, an actress, a writer, a nutritionist, a creative director of fashion brand, and be successful in all of these things. It makes you feel like everything is possible! You can be everything you want without choosing one thing.
What’s the best advice you’ve picked up on set in general?
It affirmed what I already knew—be yourself.
To shop the accessories in the video below, visit Pourlavictoire.com.