Annie Leibovitz does Ann Richards for Anne Klein.
IT’S NEVER A SURPRISE to find old political hand Ann Richards in the middle of a campaign—but an ad campaign? In the August issue of Elle magazine, the former Texas governor can be seen in a new series of ads commissioned by Anne Klein to celebrate the first collection by designers Isaac Franco and Ken Kaufman. There is no white leather and no Harley, but Richards—who was shot by celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz—looks stunning, holding her own alongside actress Bebe Neuwirth, playwright Anna Deavere Smith, singer Reba McEntire, and 26 other prominent women. “The ads stemmed from the old marketing question ‘Who is your customer?’” says Laura Wenke, Anne Klein’s senior vice president of marketing and communications. “Isaac and Ken said to me early on, ‘Forget who the customer is. Let’s blow this thing up and tell everybody who we want our customer to be.’” Why Richards, the only Texan in the group? “I think she is a noble persona,” says Wenke. “She’s a pre-feminist and a post-feminist, and she’s still standing. She is somebody we are all very proud of.” By the way, like her Super Bowl spot for Doritos in January 1995, these ads were not lucrative for Richards. She only received $1,000 for her time—and she donated the money to charity.