By  on May 11, 2007

PARIS — Giorgio Armani now has megawatt bling, after inking a deal with Beyoncé Knowles to be the face — and voice — of his next women's fragrance, Emporio Armani Diamonds, due out this fall.

"There is no one today who transcends music, film and fashion in the way that Beyoncé does," said Giorgio Armani Thursday in an exclusive interview with WWD. "There really was only one choice.

"Beyoncé is pure sensuality," continued Armani. "She has that ability to mix it up: young and sexy or elegant and sophisticated, but always with incredible charisma and magnetism."

Armani said Knowles had become "an icon for a generation."

She will appear in Emporio Armani Diamonds' print and TV advertising, in which Knowles is to sing a song inspired by "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" (introduced on Broadway in 1949, but most well-known after Marilyn Monroe sang her version some years later).

"She represents perfectly the energy, style and sensuality that inspires the Emporio Armani lifestyle," said Armani. However, when asked whether he would use Knowles in his fashion advertising, he said, "Not at this time."

His beauty licensee, L'Oréal, is betting heavily on the launch of Emporio Armani Diamonds, especially as a vehicle to refocus the Emporio fragrance business, particularly in the U.S.

"Emporio Armani Diamonds is a completely new fragrance in our portfolio," said Renaud de Lesquen, Giorgio Armani Parfums and Cosmetics' international general manager. "It is a very different Emporio fragrance, a new vision for Mr. Armani."

Armani said he chose diamonds because "I wanted a theme that reflected that glamour and sparkle of this fragrance."

De Lesquen called the Emporio brand energetic, dynamic and connected to the music scene. Knowles, for instance, performed at Armani's London ready-to-wear show in September.

"The relationship between Beyoncé and Mr. Armani has existed for some time now," said de Lesquen, who explained that the designer had been dressing her for a while.

Knowles is no newcomer to the beauty industry. She has been featured in advertisements for Tommy Hilfiger's True Star, L'Oréal Paris' Studio Line and Féria hair care, among others.

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