Not too long ago Brigitte Bardot fashioned a spectacular movie reputation by taking her clothes off. Now she is trying to build a new career by putting her clothes on—other women. The 42-year-old former French sex kitten has joined with designer Arlette Nastat, 41, to launch a medium-priced line of ready-to-wear dresses. Their first effort is a collection of summer wear called “La Madrague” which will be sold in Western Europe and North America. The title comes from the name of Bardot’s summer house in St.-Tropez.
“Brigitte is a sponsor only,” says her agent, Olga Ortig. “It would be incorrect to refer to her as co-designer.” Bardot watchers, however, suggest that she is playing a more direct role, offering advice on fabrics, colors and designs. Nastat created most of Bardot’s movie wardrobe, such as it was, during her 21-year career.
Since she retired in 1973 after 68 films, Bardot has simplified her life. Earlier this year she started a movement dedicated to preserving seals and other wildlife. After three months she folded the operation, even though it had attracted an estimated 100,000 donors. The membership, she noted, would have required a big staff. “I don’t want the money to go to bureaucrats,” she said. Since then, she has returned all contributions.
According to intimates, Bardot’s life now is built around summers at La Madrague, winters in Paris and the companionship of her current male interest, Miroslav Brozek, 36, a Yugoslav sculptor. She walks her four dogs in the rustic Bois de Boulogne near her 10-room apartment, and enjoys cooking and playing cards.
“She doesn’t want to do films anymore,” says Ortig. “She won’t even read scripts. She looks at all the possibilities beyond that, though. She aims at nothing and takes life as it happens. She is full of projects.”
One rumored Bardot business is a perfume line, a traditional big moneymaker in the fashion business. For sheer instant affluence, however, Bardot would be hard pressed to top the 80-second French TV commercial she made last spring for an apparel company. It earned her more than $200,000. Small wonder then that she recently announced: “Je n’ai jamais été aussi bien dans ma peau.” Rough translation: “I have never felt so good.”