By  on September 13, 2006

MILAN — From designer to model — that's Stefano Gabbana's latest undertaking. The designer has been tapped by car manufacturer Lancia to appear in its new TV commercial, which celebrates both its 100th anniversary and the restyling of its New Ypsilon car."We wanted to give a strong message with this campaign and we're convinced Stefano Gabbana will be pivotal," said a Lancia spokesman. "Lancia is deeply tied to cinema, design and fashion, which are also part of the Dolce & Gabbana brand."After seeing the storyboard, Gabbana gave his thumbs-up. "I really liked the ad because it conveyed a sense of style and elegance. It's always been my dream to act and this was a great opportunity because I've had other requests that either fell during the shows or weren't appealing," said Gabbana.Shot in a studio in Milan with dramatic lighting, the set was decorated with dark walls and black floors.In the center is a silver Ardea, Lancia's first small car launched in the Thirties. Gabbana, dressed in head-to-toe black (in the beginning, he wanted to wear jeans) walks in and, as if seized by a moment of ire, starts ripping the car apart, hurling the various parts around the room and shattering crystal statues and vases. Concealed beneath is the restyled New Ypsilon. Gabbana is no newcomer to the cameras — as a child he acted in a commercial for Algida's Cornetto ice cream and played a minor role in "L'uomo delle Stelle," a film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. Filmed in 30- and 60-second versions, the ad will air in Italian movie theaters and on national channels Rai and Mediaset, starting this month. Conceived by the Armando Testa ad agency, it also will run in France and Spain. Vincenzo Lancia, a tester at Fiat with a passion for engines and car races, founded Lancia in 1906. In its early stages, Fiat's founder, Giovanni Agnelli, who understood Lancia's design talent, financed the company. Over the years it churned out a number of high-quality and well-designed cars such as the Alfa, Aprilia, Flavia and Thesis. Today it is part of Fiat Group and produces about 120,000 cars a year.

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