Model Bar Rafaeli will be the "face" for advertising campaign for Especially Escada, the new fragrance from the Escada fashion and perfume house. An official announcement on the matter was released last week, though there have been inklings since the beginning of 2011 about the contract in the works.
German fashion house Escada was founded in 1976 by Wolfgang and Margaretha Ley and originally produced leisure, sports and sport-elegant clothing with a youthful look for a non-youthful clientele that had no compunctions about spending money. However, upon the untimely death of Margaretha Ley, the designer, the company started going downhill, went bankrupt and was bought about two years ago by the British-Indian Mittal family of magnates, which decided to give it a facelift.
Rafaeli, 26, has been modeling for more than a decade and is a photo model very much in demand. In Israel, she has worked with companies like Castro, Pilpel, Fox and Strauss, and her international career took off thanks to her appearance on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 2009 and her long relationship with film star Leonardo DiCaprio.
Rafaeli has been photographed in advertisements for lingerie companies Passionata and Victoria's Secret, and has participated in Escada fashion shows. As the "presenter" of the perfume, she will not only be photographed but will also be the fragrance's "spokesmodel" and "ambassador" - all common terms in the cosmetics industry.
During the customary three-year period for fragrance contracts, she will also have to appear at launches and make public speeches.
Is Rafaeli the most successful Israeli ever in the modeling field?
We seem to be forgetting Hani Perry, Michaela Bercu (who invented puffed lips way before Angelina Jolie ) and Shiri Ben-Ari: All of them went far in their day and all of them left their international career at their peak to devote themselves to a family.
In their day, however, there were not that many very similar perfumes, and the competition was not so bitter that manufacturers felt a need to distinguish their fragrances not only with the help of the packaging and the bottle design but also with the help of a "face" to lead the advertising campaign.
Well-known and photogenic faces are chosen in order to promote a new product from a familiar brand, and both sides benefit.
For many years, Catherine Deneuve was the face of Chanel Number 5, and model Sophie Dahl became famous when she was still very curvaceous and stretched in all her lush glory alongside the famous fragrance Opium from the house of Yves St. Laurent. Recently, Penelope Cruz replaced Kate Winslett after her three eras of service as the face of the Tresor fragrance by Lancome, and it has been learned that Eva Mendes will be the face of Thierry Mugler's "Angel."
A distinction must be made between "faces" and fragrances named after stars, who share the profits engendered by the fragrances names after them. Elizabeth Taylor was the first to join up with a perfume manufacturer, and this patent has also been adopted by Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Campbell, Paris Hilton, the Beckham family, Antonio Banderas, Kylie Minogue, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Halle Berry, Kate Moss, Beyonce and Celine Dion - and the list goes on.
Bar Rafaeli's features are classical; she doesn't usually appear heavily made up, she is a fair-skinned, blue-eyed blonde, and she looks European in every respect. Her face is a familiar one thanks to the frequent photos at Leonardo DiCaprio's side. Her success may not depend on the brand's recovery, and the considerable exposure may lead to an even bigger contract as the "face" of a cosmetics company.