Browse all

Emma Watson just entered a new era

The creative direction of Prada Beauty's Paradoxe recent launch traces a new intellectual modern femininity

Emma Watson just entered a new era The creative direction of Prada Beauty's Paradoxe recent launch traces a new intellectual modern femininity

Emma Watson is one of the faces that is part of the fabric of this millennium's pop-culture thanks to her role in Harry Potter, and her non-return to the spotlight with the Prada Beauty campaign signals a new chapter for both the actress and Miuccia Prada's brand as it enters the beauty business heralding many new things to come. The campaign video for the Prada Paradox perfume is a dive into female creativity seen as a form of empowerment, probing questions such as "Why should I be framed?" or "How does it feel to be a living paradox" shedding light on the social hypocrisy that labels women in predefined roles and points at them as "witches" if they step outside the box. And who better than the actress who played a young witch-in-training to represent the shift in perspective of women who want to take power of their narrative from object to subject. By telling the facets of modern femininity Emma Watson corresponds to the epitome of modern femininity, according to Prada, "an elegant paradox in constant evolution, between sophisticated, rebellious, and intensely intellectual," a female model in line with the values of the new generations, to be followed and promoted. But why did we only notice this now? Where was the actress before the debut of Prada's beauty line?


Growing up on Warner Bros. sets playing a role from age 10 to 21, Emma went on to act full-time in major productions after the last understanding of the Harry Potter saga. Her character has grown with her, and will remain her "all-time favorite fictional character," although the spasmodic love of the horde of Potter Heads who idolized the wizardess in even bizarre ways gave Emma the fear of not being able to shed the character. Today we can say that she has fully succeeded, not least because the little wizard's evolution is nothing like a picaresque novel in literature, even in the film versions, as she told Time Magazine in 2009:

With Columbus there was the very comic side: Hermione was saccharine and arrogant, a little Lady. Then Alfonso brought out the girl-power element in her, and it suited me because I was becoming a teenager. Later, Mike Newell brought out the sensitive, vulnerable, insecure little girl part of her.


Hermione's transformation on screen demonstrated the complexity of female identity in the making, a quest that the actress continues to make in all her interpretations: Hermione Granger's childlike sassiness from the early films of the Harry Potter saga, the imitating envy with Nicki in Sophia Coppola's "Bling Ring" Sam's FOMO from "The Perks of being a Wallflower" and the woman who finds fulfillment in motherhood in Greta Gerwig's 2018 "Little Women" are just a few of the meanings of "being a young woman" interpreted by Emma. Acting with Laura Dorn and Meryl Streep have made her an even more established figure in the acting world, a field in which she continues to grow. The concretization of Emma's deep understanding of the feminine and its representation officially occurs when she publicly declares herself a feminist at the UN, following her speech to launch the #HeforShe campaign highlighting the role of men in promoting gender equality as a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, earning a standing ovation and a 1-on-1 interview with Malala, a peace promoter. Emma is now an environmental and gender equality activist, an honorary researcher at Oxford University with a degree in English Literature from Brown, a celebrity from before her teens who has managed to turn her popularity into a voice actively fighting for the common good. 

This new era of Emma Watson's career is closely tied to fashion: from the front-row at the Schiaparelli FW22 show in Paris wearing a blazer with giant lapels, skinny jeans, and Dr. Martens alongside Hunter Schafer, to the Prada campaign in which she wears earrings with the iconic logo along with a pixi cut and a line of graphic eye-liner, the path of renewing her image has just begun. Her focus on sustainability, which made her director of Kering's Sustainability Committee in 2020 and Alberta Ferretti's collaborator on an eco-friendly collection in 2011, continues in styling with Laura Sophie Cox, an image curator as committed as she is to the pursuit of sustainable fashion. Concern for sustainability are values that once again unite Emma that with Prada, which in the Paradoxe concept created an olfactory scenario with sensual notes given by natural ingredients such as Ambrofix™, mainly used for men's fragrances, and Serenolide™, studied by the perfumer noses who built together with Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons the identity of the fragrance.

If the character that accompanied the childhood of thousands of millennials is also getting a makeover, it means that we are entering a new Hermione Era, in which the little girls who saw Hermione as a role model today want to be free to live out their intellectuality without fear of being considered know-it-all, ready to stand up for collective rights and at the same time keep up with current fashion and be feminine in a unique and personal way, just like Emma. After all, we all know that the time-turner was are a metaphor for female potential, and Watson has always been its representative.