Bollywood Star and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra will star in in the new Guess campaign, which will premiere in the December issues of Harper's Bazaar, Nylon, Paper, Marie Clare, Elle, and WSJ Magazine. Notably, she's the brand's first-ever Indian campaign model, which is a very heartening sign in an industry that has a fairly dismal track record in terms of representing diversity.
Being the "Guess Girl" helped launch the careers of Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith, and past models have usually had a blond/blue-eyed Brigitte Bardot look.
"Being the next Guess girl was something that I would have never thought of, but when I met Paul [Marciano], he was like, ‘You’re it. It has to be you.’" she told WWD. "For a global fashion brand, for them to move their campaign into a global space, for me it's an honor."
Chopra is not yet a household name in America despite being wildly famous and successful. In 2000, at age 17, she became the youngest person ever to win Miss World; she went on to star in several of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all time and win enough awards to fill a very long Wikipedia page; she has an album coming out on Interscope records next spring (she's already released a single with Pitbull, titled — sigh — "Exotic," which has over 17 million views on YouTube); and she's a longtime advocate for children's rights and the education of girls — she was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child's Rights in 2010. She also used to write a column for the Times of India.
When asked whether she was nervous about taking on a Western market as a musician-cum-actress-cum-model, Chopra responded, "I’m a global citizen, and that’s what most people are today. And I don’t want to have to change who I am to try and fit in or cater to a certain audience." It's wonderful that Guess has moved to reflect this (diverse!) reality, rather than continuing to perpetuate that bizarre whitewashed illusion that plagues the fashion industry. It's fairly telling that Priyanka — a very famous woman who literally won a crown for being extremely beautiful, poised and compelling — "never even thought" that she could be the face of the iconic brand. Hopefully Guess' decision to cast her is a sign of change rather than an anomaly.
"Q&A: Priyanka Chopra, the New Guess Girl" [WWD]
Image via Getty.