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Olivier Van Doorne Dies At Age 58.
The visionary behind countless of the most memorable luxury and beauty campaigns, died in his Rio apartment on December 18.
Throughout a career than spanned over 3 decades, Van Doorne has signed some of the most striking and successful campaigns for International giant groups like l’Oréal, Coty, Procter&Gamble, Estée Lauder, Swarovski, Elisabeth Arden and Shiseido.
A graduate from French Business School EDHEC, the Versailles-born started his career as an account manager at Publicis Conseil in Paris, on the legendary French hosiery and underwear brand DIM. After a few years break during which he co-founded a production company called « Les Enfants Terribles » and art directed Max—a fashion magazine for men—, he was called back at Publicis Conseil for what was a daring leap of faith from the worldwide account director for L’Oréal: in 1990, at 30, he became the International Creative Director for the most prestigious beauty brand, Lancôme.
With his undeniable charisma and true sensitivity, Van Doorne always credited women for his successful career, and particularly three: Marie-Claude Mayer from Publicis, Isabella Rossellini and Jennifer Lopez.
Under the lens of Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel—to name a few—he directed the most iconic campaigns of the Isabella Rossellini era at Lancôme, while preparing her succession. The two became so close that, in 1996, the star of “Blue Velvet” changed his life by introducing him to Herwig Preis, the German adman behind Select – now Select World. Named Worldwide Creative Director of this independent yet international communications group anchored in the fragrance and beauty market, he moved to New York City. From there, he literally traveled the world for 20+ years to develop and expand the agency’s reach, from Asia to Europe, and to the very core of corporate America.
Among Select’s countless successes, he was particularly proud of debuting the celebrity fragrance market trend, with Jennifer Lopez for Coty. With his respectful attention to relevance and personality, Van Doorne won the trust of dozens of major celebrities throughout the years, including Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Juliette Binoche, and Christina Aguilera – not to mention countless top models.
For 30 years, his uncompromising commitment to meaningful imagery had a major influence on commercial fashion photography. His exclusive short list of talents included Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Nick Knight, Craig McDean, Javier Vallhonrat, Enrique Badulescu, Sølve Sundsbø, Peter Lindbergh, Mario Sorrenti, Steven Klein, and more. He was also instrumental in developing the portfolio of more up and coming photographers, like Alexi Lubomirski, Nathaniel Goldberg, Liz Collins, Matthew Brookes or, more recently, Jem Mitchell or Theo Wenner.
As capable of electrifying a room of hundreds of Artistry sales people in Korea, than to sell a poetic strategy to an audience of crystal-makers from Tyrol, Van Doorne’s light shined even brighter as a story-teller. Of all the agency’s prestigious clients, Select World’s five-year collaboration with the worldwide crystal leader Swarovski will probably remain as the award-winning campaigns that were closest to Olivier Van Doorne’s heart. It was made of all the layers of his creative vision: purpose, culture, grace, and a truly creative symbiosis with his team as well as his clients.
In 2017, he decided he had accomplished his mission at Select World, and stepped down to reinvent himself as a high profile creative advisor for major International brands. This avid traveler was then able to spend more time in each country he visited, from South Africa to Portugal, Turkey or Lebanon, feeding his discerning eye with even more experiences, landscapes and cultures. He also finally took the time to redesign his three homes. Olivier Van Doorne was actually checking the restoration of his apartment in Rio, before heading to Quebec for a family holiday dinner, when the sudden return of an old forgotten medical condition claimed his life. He is survived by his mother, brothers and three dogs – Ludo, Jude and Alice. He was 58.