HUBLOT’S NEW BAR: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Swiss watchmaker Hublot has snagged Israeli model Bar Refaeli as its first female ambassador. Refaeli, who previously served as the face of Piaget watches in 2012 and the Piaget Rose jewelry collection last year, is the female equivalent among aspirational Hublot fans of National Basketball Association stars Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. “We will have a new deal with Bar Refaeli,” Jean-Claude Biver, chairman of LVMH Watches, told WWD while he was in Beverly Hills to celebrate Ferrari’s 60th anniversary in the U.S. (Hublot created 60 limited-edition, $33,200 watches for the occasion). “She already bought a few Hublots and we met her in Brazil [during the FIFA World Cup, of which Hublot was the official timekeeper], so finally we made an agreement that on the first of January she will be another celeb ambassador for us. She’s the first female and represents an additional direction for us.”

The Swiss luxury market is still rife with opportunity among female customers, and Refaeli makes sense, given her international fan base and appeal among young women and men. (Think slightly younger than the Sofía Vergara-Omega deal in 2010). “The young generation, aged 15 to 30 years old, they want luxury to connect them to their world and not to the world of their parents,” said Biver. “Today there are opportunities in the world of luxury to connect to them because not many brands at the moment are talking to this new generation. They have quite some buying power and they are the customer of tomorrow, so it’s very important to start talking to them today.”

This story first appeared in the October 14, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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