Lily Aldridge on set for Bulgari

Bulgari has signed Lily Aldridge as its new face. The Italian haute jewelry house has chosen the Victoria’s Secret Angel to lead its global campaigns through 2017.

This story first appeared in the September 12, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In images photographed by Mario Testino, Aldridge is meant to evoke archetypal “Roman opulence,” according to Bulgari chief executive officer Jean-Christophe Babin. A press conference to announce Aldridge’s unveiling will be held in New York this morning.

Speaking on the decision to chose a model as Bulgari’s face, rather than a famous actress or singer, Babin told WWD: “I think Bulgari is much more than one person. A model is a better platform for us to communicate the many angles of the Roman lifestyle.”

Aldridge’s ads will debut in November issues of print magazines including Vogue, WSJ and Architectural Digest.

In the past, Bulgari has signed actresses including Rachel Weisz and Julianne Moore as spokesmodels. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was signed as its face in 2013, and appeared in ads through 2015.

“It depends on your brand awareness and brand representation. For some brands it might make sense to sign a famous name because people will identify and attach your name to that famous name, but in the case of Bulgari we do not need people identifying one person with our name. Even Carla Bruni is not so known outside Italy and France.”

Of Aldridge, Babin said: “Lily is much younger and as a luxury brand, we have to talk to not only the people buying today but also those who will buy tomorrow. Lily has an advantage. Even though she is not Italian, she looks golden and exotic — very much I think like those [classic] Italian divas.”

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