The star will head the Italian designer's ad campaign – but not in the U.S.

By Stephen M. Silverman
December 15, 2005 08:00 AM

Julia Roberts is the new face and figure of Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre in an international advertising campaign that will appear most everywhere except the United States, Ferre has announced.

Celebrated fashion photog Mario Testino is shooting Roberts in Los Angeles for magazine ads that will run in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Japan, the Far East and Oceania starting in February, for the spring-summer 2006 season. Testino recently shot Halle Berry and Demi Moore for the Versace campaign.

Though Ferre has relied on anonymous models in the past, he now says, as quoted by Fashion Wire Daily: “I think the time for muses has come and gone. My source of inspiration is modern-day reality, women who live in today’s world. Yet there are some who better than others match my own purely personal ideal of femininity. In the now so multifaceted realm of glamour and allure, both as a woman and as a personality, Julia Roberts in my eyes reflects a total affinity with this ideal of mine.”

Though the 38-year-old Erin Brockovich Oscar winner (and mother of year-old twins Hazel Patricia and Phinnaeus Walter Moder) has never attended a Ferre show, she once personally bought a Ferrre pinstripe suit in his Beverly Hills boutique, reports FWD.

“What enchants me most are her presence and manner, her way of being energetic and calm at the same time and her naturally aristocratic self-possession,” gushes Ferre. “I love her smile: open, direct, inviting and at the same time captivatingly shy. And I adore her vitality, her natural ease, and her free spirit. Everything about her makes her the authentic Ferre woman.”

Late last month, the Hollywood Reporter placed Roberts at the top of its power list as the industry’s highest-paid actress – $20 million per picture – despite the fact she didn’t make a movie this year.