CHANEL’S NEW MAN: Brad Pitt’s certainly never been above plying his wares on Asian TV — remember the 2008 spot for Japanese denim brand Edwin Jeans, where he invited spectators to check out his backside, or perhaps the Wes Anderson-directed Japanese spot for Softbank mobile phones in which he resembled a giant banana? — but he’s now coming Stateside with his power of persuasion. Chanel confirmed Wednesday that it has signed the actor as the face of its No.5 fragrance. Over the years, Chanel has chosen a host of celebrity faces to front the 91-year-old scent — from Ali McGraw, Catherine Deneuve and Candice Bergen to Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou and Vanessa Paradis — but Pitt’s signing marks the first time a man has been tapped to represent the brand.

Pitt dabbled in the beauty business in August 2008 with Kiehl’s, inking a deal that benefited his Make It Right organization, which funds construction of environmentally sustainable and affordable housing in New Orleans for the displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. Pitt handwrote part of the bottle’s label, and the deal was said to have garnered $1 million for the charity.

This story first appeared in the May 10, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Chanel declined to discuss the length or terms of the contract, who is shooting the ads or when and where they will appear. However, industry sources familiar with the celebrity endorsement mill speculate the megastar is being paid at least $7 million a year. Some estimates go as high as $10 million annually, while others range down to $5 million.

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