WHERE FOOD AND FASHION COLLIDE: The realization of Padma Lakshmi’s first fine jewelry advertising campaign proves that no matter how high brow, anyone can relish in a good reality TV show. Lakshmi, a model, cookbook author, fine jewelry designer and host of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” has a fan in fashion photographer Steven Meisel — and it led him to team up with her to shoot a catalogue of photographs that will be used for advertising and other promotional matters. “I have always admired [Meisel’s] work from way back in the Nineties with his work for Dolce & Gabbana and Vogue,” said Lakshmi, who had never met Meisel prior to their work together last spring. The photos show a glistening, nude Lakshmi draped in her delicate gold and gemstone spices, which take inspiration from foods such as lentils and cardamom pods. The ads will bow in Hearst’s September supplement “30 Days of Fashion.” The images also will be featured on padmalakshmi.com. (Given the hubbub her steamy television ad for Hardee’s Western Bacon Thickburger caused on the Internet, the latest campaign is sure to attract lots of hits.) The jewelry line, which launched last spring, has been performing well at retail, with several reorders from Bergdorf Goodman and new distribution in Richards in Greenwich, Conn.; Mitchells in Westport, Conn., and Aria, the new resort in Las Vegas, as well as the Web sites of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. Lakshmi recently opened a showroom and test kitchen in lower Manhattan.
— Sophia Chabbott
This story first appeared in the August 7, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.