By  on April 26, 2006

NEW YORK — Chanel is swapping Brits.

The famed fashion house said Tuesday that actress Keira Knightley has signed a deal to be the face of its five-year-old Coco Mademoiselle scent, replacing Kate Moss.

This news confirms a report in WWD on March 3.

Knightley — who has appeared in films such as "Pride and Prejudice" (for which she was nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year), "Love Actually," "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" and "Bend It Like Beckham" — will become the face of Coco Mademoiselle next spring. While Chanel wouldn't confirm details, the campaign is said to include both TV and print. While Chanel executives refused to comment on terms of the deal, it is believed that Knightley's contract is for at least one year and that she is likely to earn at least $1 million for the job. She was not available for comment Tuesday.

"Keira is very modern and has an incredible beauty and freshness, yet she has a certain edginess to her," said Maureen Chiquet, the head of Chanel's U.S. business, who was reached late Tuesday afternoon in Tokyo. "When I look at her choice of diverse roles, from 'Pride and Prejudice,' which is timeless like Chanel, to 'Domino,' where she plays a bounty hunter, I am continually struck by the fact that the women she plays are very independent and make up their own minds, very much like Mademoiselle Chanel herself. Coco Mademoiselle is a very current and modern brand with an independent spirit. By partnering with Keira, we continue to reinforce the brand's personality and remind everyone that Chanel is and always has been forward-thinking."

"We think Keira is the perfect Coco Mademoiselle woman because she is always incredibly alluring and seductive," Christine Dagousset, executive vice president of fragrance and beauty for Chanel, told WWD on Tuesday. "Jacques Helleu [Chanel's artistic director] chose Keira Knightley for her modernity and because she represents exactly what we want to say about Coco Mademoiselle. Keira possesses beauty, elegance and modernity, so she has many qualities that parallel other iconic Chanel faces in previous fragrance campaigns. What makes Keira exceptional is that she shows strength and independence through the film roles she chooses to play. And she certainly has a vein of irreverence that is similar to Mademoiselle Chanel herself. In fact, we think of Coco Mademoiselle as the fragrance Mademoiselle would wear if she were 21 years old in the 21st century. Coincidentally, Keira turned 21 in March."

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