Guess’s newest face, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, may not be a household name in the U.S. yet, but if the career trajectories of past Guess girls are any indication, her star is on the rise. Shot by Bryan Adams, who photographed three previous Guess campaigns, the sexy ads break in the December issues of Harper’s Bazaar, Nylon, Paper, Marie Claire, Elle and WSJ. magazine. Chopra recently sat down with WWD at Guess headquarters in Los Angeles to share her story.
WWD: Your hairstylist Peter Savic introduced you to Paul Marciano, who said you remind him of Angelina Jolie. What did you think when he asked you to do this campaign? Priyanka Chopra: Whenever I do photo shoots, whenever I have to give references to makeup artists or hair or styling, mostly they’ve been Guess references because I feel the pictures are so iconic. They show women as beautiful, feminine, powerful and yet candid. But being the next Guess girl was something that I would have never thought of, but when I met Paul, he was like, ‘You’re it. It has to be you.’ I’m like their first brown model. For a global fashion brand, for them to move their campaign into a global space, for me it’s an honor.
WWD: What was it like working with Bryan Adams on the shoot in Pasadena two months ago? P.C.: I never even knew Bryan was a photographer. I just knew of him as an incredible musician, and he’s super famous in India. But when we met, we were just like a house on fire. The vibe was like a young Sophia Loren. I wanted to play characters, and I wanted to be in the mood. I wanted every picture to speak of a story.
WWD: You’ve been making movies for 10 years. How did you get started? I heard that your mom secretly entered you into a Miss India contest? P.C.: It was actually really random. I went to high school in America, and I decided to go back to India my senior year because I missed my family. I wanted to be an engineer and make planes and go to NASA. I had just done some pictures for the scholarship program I wanted to apply for, and my mom sent them to the Miss India Pageant and didn’t tell me. It was the Millennium year, and she thought it’d be fun. No one expected a call back. And now we had to tell my dad that instead of taking exams I am going to go for Miss India, and then I won, which, again, no one expected. And then I went for Miss World, and at age 17, I became the youngest Miss World. Suddenly I was in front of press from all over the world, speaking about the economy of Uganda or something, and I was this girl who loved reading about nail paint. So I had to grow up really fast. I did a lot of philanthropy work, and then movies happened. My family and I decided to give it a year and a half, then I would go back to school. But my first movie did really well, I won all the awards that year, and then I never looked back.
WWD: Your first album for Interscope Records comes out next spring. What are your musical influences? P.C.: Before I could even read, I could sing. I really enjoyed it, but I left it because I started doing movies and when this opportunity came, I realized I never had a professional style. So I had to find that. It’s really as eccentric as me. So it has almost every genre I could think of. For the first single, “Exotic” with Pitbull, we shot the video in Miami.
WWD: You said you used to love hip-hop and R&B when you were in high school. Do you still? P.C.: In my head, I was Left Eye from TLC, with the braids and hoops and those pants and poufy jackets. The Nineties were mine. It was the era of hip-hop when I was in school — Tupac, Dr. Dre, Biggie. I wanted to marry Tupac. I mourned his death for months. I wore only black.
WWD: Is it hard to go out when you’rein India? P.C.: It does create a little pandemonium, but I like that. I still do what I have to. I’ll still go for a movie. In India especially, to be an actor you need to know people or you need to have a lineage. I had to do it on my own, and I take immense pride in it.
WWD: Do you feel ready to take on the Western market now too? P.C.: It’s scary, but I grew up partly here too. So I’m an amalgamation of both the East and West. I’m not too American and I’m not too Indian, but I’m a global citizen, and that’s what most people are today. And I don’t want to have to change who I am to try and fit in or cater to a certain audience. Which is why in my music, it’s pop, but I want to keep an influence of what I am, a little bit of India.
WWD: When did your parents stop thinking that you would go to college? P.C.: I think my mom still thinks that. She always says, “You and your brother are kids of doctors, and one becomes a chef and one becomes an actor. What the hell happened to academics?” I went from being a geek to being a geek’s fantasy.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)