Estée Lauder has a new face and it belongs to Puerto Rican-born Joan Smalls, who will star in global advertising campaigns for the brand beginning in May 2011.

This story first appeared in the December 10, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Smalls, a relative newcomer to the fashion world, made her catwalk debut in January, and has since commanded runways for Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, Louis Vuitton and Prada, and been photographed by the likes of Mario Testino and Steven Meisel.

“For me, Estée Lauder represents real beauty,” said Smalls, 21, who will be featured in ads for both cosmetics and skin care. “It speaks to every ethnicity and age group.”

For Smalls, the appointment is also a responsibility to be a positive role model.

“I plan to bring [women] confidence, so they accept themselves the way they are,” said Smalls. “I am looking forward to creating beautiful images and empowering women.”

Smalls, the first Estée Lauder model from Puerto Rico, joins the brand’s stable of international beauties, including Liu Wen, Paulina Porizkova, Anja Rubik, Elizabeth Hurley and Constance Jablonski.

“This is a very exciting time for Estée Lauder,” said Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director. “We are rejoicing in the importance of global beauty.”

Lauder said of Smalls, “She has a great smile, a great energy and is an elegant, beautiful person.”

Smalls is the third new model signed by the brand this year.

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