The Estée Lauder Cos. has recruited fashion model Hilary Rhoda to join the cast of spokesmodels representing the flagship Lauder brand.

Rhoda, who grew up in Chevy Chase, Md., and radiates athletic good looks, will appear in ads for makeup and skin care products, according to Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director for Estée Lauder. Rhoda will appear in ads for a new Lauder treatment product that will appear in August fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines.

“She has beauty and elegance and a sense of style,” said Lauder, who also praised Rhoda’s sense of poise. “She is a real classic beauty and will work well with the group,” Lauder said, referring to the rest of the brand’s spokeswomen, who include Elizabeth Hurley, Carolyn Murphy, Liya Kebede, Gwyneth Paltrow and Anja Rubik. Describing Rhoda as “an all-American beauty,” Lauder also pointed out that, as a brunette, Rhoda will provide “a nice balance between the brunettes and blondes.”

John Demsey, a corporate group president and worldwide head of the Lauder brand, expanded upon the point that Rhoda clicks very well with makeup and skin care. At the same time, he said, she adds a new facet to Lauder’s mixture of models and celebrities. “She reflects a diversity of looks that is subtle and offers a clue signifying something different going on,” said Demsey. “She is a classic, refined beauty of high fashion. She is global play.”

Demsey noted that modeling for fragrance ads and modeling for treatment and makeup ads required different temperaments. Demsey opined that celebrities work better in fragrance advertising because the marketing thrust of a scent is basically role-playing. With treatment, however, the consumer tends to project herself into the ad, he said.

Demsey added that Rhoda’s background was another plus. “It’s been a while since there has been a big American star,” he said.

Rhoda broke into high-fashion circles during the spring-summer 2006 collections in Paris when Nicolas Ghesquière picked her for his Balenciaga show. She subsequently modeled for a host of designers, including Marc Jacobs, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Narciso Rodriguez, Zac Posen, Alexander McQueen, Chloé and Hermès.

This story first appeared in the January 26, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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