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beauty: fragrances

A new campaign for Laetitia CastaA new campaign for Laetitia Casta

French model Lætitia Casta is the face of Ralph Lauren’s Notorious fragrance



HAVING DONE HER DASH WITH L’Oréal Paris, French-born model Laetitia Casta has been moved within the group to the Ralph Lauren Fragrances division, and will front its campaign for its new line, Notorious.

The new campaign has been photographed by Michael Thompson and the commercial film has been directed by Wong Kar-Wai.

While the news of Casta’s appointment has been around for months, this is the first official announcement from the L’Oréal group.

‘Laetitia’s glamour, daring and powerful femininity make her the perfect face for this seductive fragrance,’ says Guillaume de Lesquen, President, Worldwide, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, in a press release. ‘She is classically beautiful, but lives her life in a completely modern way. Laetitia is Notorious.’

Casta was discovered at age 15 in Corsica by a talent scout, and persuaded her parents to move to Paris so she could pursue her modelling career. Her natural, youthful looks and curvy figure have seen her model widely in France—she was a favourite of Elle and Marie Claire—and is easily one of the country’s best known in the industry. She is recorded as measuring 5'" (1·69 m) in height.

In 1993, she signed with Guess Jeans for a successful advertising campaign, and in 1996, became one of Victoria’s Secret’s models.

She crossed over into acting in 1999 with Astérix et Obélix contre Cæsar, though her role was relatively minor. She gained more critical attention in La bicyclette bleue in 2000. She has continued to achieve higher goals in her acting career and will appear on stage in Elle t’attend at the Théâtre Madeleine in Paris this month.

In 2000, Casta was named as Marianne, the French face of womanhood—such praise may well earn her the tag of supermodel in some people’s eyes. She may well qualify: she is recognized by those outside the fashion world, and her first name alone does signify who she is. In earning terms, she is well behind Gisèle Bündchen and Heidi Klum but it is profile that determines whether the super- prefix applies. Until recently she even overshadowed Carla Bruni.

Lucire’s earlier impressions of Casta were less stellar in her earlier years, as she tended to stick to the script in interviews and getting across the sponsor’s message. However, most critics will agree that she has improved greatly in her acting career and her looks, as the new Ralph Lauren campaign indicates, have not diminished.

The Notorious campaign breaks this month in the US. •


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Top: Notorious, the new fragrance from Ralph Lauren Perfumes. Centre: Casta, more sultry and mature in the Thompson photograph. Above: Laetitia Casta, photographed earlier for L’Oréal Paris.


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