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EXCLUSIVE: Emily Ratajkowski Is the Face of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb

“More and more, we’re seeing nuanced ideas around femininity and what that means," said Ratajkowski.

PARIS — Emily Ratajkowski is the new face of Flowerbomb, the bestselling women’s scent from Viktor & Rolf.

Starting this month, the multihyphenate will appear in a global campaign for the floral gourmand eau de parfum that was launched 18 years ago.

Inez and Vinoodh lensed the print photo, while Torso Solutions created the film spots. Each is chockablock with bright flowers and eye-catching visual effects.

Flowerbomb, which has always been about the power of transformation, chimes with Ratajkowski’s ethos.

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“More and more, we’re seeing nuanced ideas around femininity and what that means. I’m somebody who people could say is contradictory,” Ratajkowski told WWD. “The name of my podcast is ‘High Low [with EmRata].’ I like to be a culture vulture, post a bikini pic and then also talk about things that are important.”

Ratajkowski has found it exciting to evolve the podcast, which covers such subjects such as Donatella Versace, health care and the sex trade, in real time.

In 2021, she had a baby and published the New York Times bestselling book “My Body.”

“I would love to write another book,” Ratajkowski said, “but I know it’s going to be years.”

She’s also a model, activist and has her own swim- and body-wear brand, called Inamorata.

“I certainly stray away from being inside of any box,” she continued. “I just like to be a multidimensional person.”

When discussing the Flowerbomb project with the designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren and photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Ratajkowski said she was drawn to their view on strength in femininity, and said her first memories of perfume are linked to her mother.

“I knew she was really going out somewhere if she put on her fragrance,” reminisced Ratajkowski, adding that when she booked the Flowerbomb campaign, her closest friends were excited about how its message chimes with the way she lives her life.

“[Women] can be sexual, they can be smart, they can be mothers. They can have all these different identities, and it doesn’t need to be contradictory,” she said. “I like the idea that femininity can represent strength, because that traditionally — at least in the last 100 years in western culture — has not been true.”

Ratajkowski also adored the scent’s ability to attract people of all ages, she said, and had become close friends with Lamsweerde and Matadin, who long worked with Viktor & Rolf.

“So it felt like a natural collaboration,” Ratajkowski said. “This truly felt like friends coming together.”

Ratajkowski had fun shooting the campaign, too.

“I have pictures with me like naked, suspended from the ceiling,” she said, with a laugh.

Horsting and Snoeren were drawn to Ratajkowski, too.

“We felt a kind of similar approach, in the sense that she is very much inside the system, but at the same time, she takes liberty to step back and to reflect on it,” said Horsting. “We felt it’s like the way we work.

“She’s not afraid of complexity, and I hope our work has complexity to it, as well,” he explained. “So we thought it would be such an interesting fit.”

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Horsting continued: “We like the idea that beauty is in the mind — we always call it ‘mind style.’ That’s what she stands for, from our perspective.”

With the new Flowerbomb campaign, Viktor & Rolf reinforces its message about the power of metamorphosis. In the print visual, Ratajkowski’s image is superimposed on supersized pink-and-orange flowers, and the signature V&R seal and ribbon stretch across.

Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb

The Flowerbomb film, using datamoshing, is also all about transformation. It has flying flowers and images of Ratajkowski, sometimes moving in slow- and sped-up motion.

“A flower, a bomb. It’s two opposites that attract. One does not exclude the other. It’s not that something has to be only delicate and flowery, or only aggressive; we like the combination,” Horsting explained.

Ratajkowski’s arrival at Viktor & Rolf syncs with the couture brand’s 30th anniversary this year.

“It’s amazing to be the face of this fragrance in particular,” she said. “I’m really proud of it.”

Sandrine Groslier, global president, Luxe Fragrance Brands at L’Oréal, which holds the Viktor & Rolf fragrance license, said Ratajkowski embodies femininity today.

The new Flowerbomb campaign is meant to reveal femininity in a new, modern way. Torso, she said, “knows how to speak to the young generations.”

“We wanted to express this idea of explosion that is in the concept since the beginning of Flowerbomb,” said Groslier, who added focus was placed on the sound design, as well.

“The music [by Cobrah] is really strong,” Groslier said. And the word “icon” is repeated numerous times.

“Viktor & Rolf is iconic, Flowerbomb is iconic, Emily is also iconic,” Groslier said. “She’s the icon of a new generation of women, this new vision of femininity.”

That’s all channeled into the new communication. Its film will break on Friday on TV and in social media, and the print visual on Saturday.

Groslier said there is great ambition and potential for Flowerbomb, which has since its launch ranked in the top 15 in the U.S. and top 20 in the U.K., where it currently places eighth and 15th, respectively.

“For Viktor & Rolf, we really think the sky is the limit,” she said.