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The ‘New’ Face of Intimissimi?
Posted by richard | February 17, 2011

You might need to look closely to tell, but these are not pictures of the same girl.

In fact, these are three different supermodels who just have a lot in common: the tousled chestnut hair; dark doe eyes and full brows; slender Greek nose and full lips; and, of course, a modestly buxom figure.

Oh, and they all represent Intimissimi, the luxury Italian label which, more than most brands, has very specific tastes when it comes to hiring models to promote its wares. The names often change with each new season or collection, but the look never does.

For the record, that’s Irina Shayk (2009) on the left, Bianca Balti (2010) in the middle, and Alyssa Miller (2011) on the right. All great beauties, to be sure, but it’s a bit odd to read press releases each year announcing “the new face of Intimissimi.” They could be sisters, even triplets.

Still not convinced? The series below shows Yesica Toscanini (left), Candice Boucher (centre) and Diana Morales, all from Intimissimi campaigns of the past couple of years.

Intimissimi occasionally diverges from its model typecasting: Candice’s blue eyes really stood out, and the brand employed blondes such as Sophie Holmes and Ana Beatriz Barros before settling in 2009 on Irina (who has since been named the company’s “style ambassador”).

What’s the strategy here? It’s tempting to say that Intimissimi is trying to capture an iconic Italian look — except that, of the 6 recent Intimissimi models shown here, only Bianca is Italian. Alyssa Miller, the “new face” of Intimissimi for 2011, is from California.

A more likely answer is that, starting with Irina, Intimissimi found a model whose look could define the brand — a rare and highly prized commodity — and have been replicating that look ever since. Hey, you can’t argue with success, right?

Below we have a gallery showing Alyssa modeling Intimissimi’s Spring 2011 collection. Which, for American readers, will be just another reason to sigh.

The label hasn’t been available in the U.S. since pulling out of its distribution deal with Victoria’s Secret over a year ago, leaving behind legions of loyal fans.

But there may be hope on the horizon. Intimissimi, which is part of the Calzedonia fashion empire, is promising a big announcement next Monday — could it be a new U.S. distribution network? Anyone curious might want to check out the company website, where they are actively soliciting franchisees.

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