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Bianca Balti

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The Edit. December 2014. Full editorial.

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The Edit. December 2014. Article.


 

Riding the wave

 

BIANCA BALTI went from living in a squat to starring in multi-million dollar campaigns in a matter of months. Intrigued? You should be. TINA ISAAC-GOIZÉ meets a refreshingly low-maintenance model.

 


Photographs by Hilary Walsh Styling by Maya Zepinic.

 

Bianca Balti wants to set the record straight: she is 100 percent Italian, like her parents, even if the internet has bestowed her with Kazakh roots. Thanks to that mysterious assertion, the blue-eyed beauty and long-time face of Dolce & Gabbana found herself invited to a modeling event in Kazakhstan a few years ago. “When I got there I understood why I’d been invited,” the 30-year-old recalls. “Everybody knew me there! When they started asking about my Kazakh mother, I had to issue a statement saying, ‘Sorry, my mom is not from here.’”

 

Growing up with her two brothers in Lodi, just outside of Milan, Balti saw fashion as a foreign land, too. But her father, a magazine distributor, always had glossy tomes in their home above his warehouse, which afforded his daughter a glimpse of high fashion. She recalls leafing through the pages and thinking that modeling “could be a nice job”, though she worried she might be too skinny. She got into dancing instead. “Anything that allowed me to show off was an opportunity,” she laughs.

 

“My seven-year-old daughter, Matilde, is exactly like I was at her age. Go to a restaurant, and she’ll sing and dance for everyone.”

 

Balti’s tale of discovery is unusual: she wasn’t scouted at a mall, on a beach or in JFK Airport. At the time, in 2004, she lived in a squat, raving by night and working odd jobs by day, including one as a supermarket hostess. The friend who helped her get those jobs suggested Balti meet with a scout she knew. “I just needed money,” says Balti. “My mother was urging me to see [the scout] because she just wanted me to do something.”

 

That appointment turned out to be Balti’s lucky break. One week later, she was shooting with L’Officiel and Vogue Italia. Not that it was all smooth sailing. “I put my first earnings in my bag, maybe €1,000, and went to lunch with the shoot team,” she recounts. “I got to the airport and saw it had been stolen. I had no money, no credit card, nothing. I cried, but the airline wouldn’t check my bag.”

 

Three months later, Balti signed an exclusive contract with Dolce & Gabbana to appear in the brand’s runway show and campaigns. That was 10 years ago.

 

 “Bianca’s beauty represents the sensuality of the Italian girl in a location that has been, and always will be, a playground for seduction. She perfectly embodies our vision of Italian women: feminine and extremely sensual,” says the Italian duo of their star. “She has excelled in our campaigns, especially for our Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue fragrance, when her and David’s [Gandy] eyes match the color of the water, the beautiful and endless blue Mediterranean.”

 

Not surprisingly, the billion-dollar brand altered Balti’s relationship with fashion. Back in her squat days, she taught herself how to sew sweatshirts and skirts to sell at the market. “I once saw a girl at a rave wearing one of my skirts, in neon orange faux fur. I thought, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I made that!’” she says. “Back then, I didn’t like the fashion world.”

 

But with the opportunity to watch Dolce & Gabbana tend to the clothes backstage, Balti soon became enamored. “They’re totally hands-on,” she says. “That was when I understood their passion and I really began to appreciate certain things about the business.”

 

The model appreciated other things less: New York, for one, where she lived, age 23, after Matilde was born. “Being a parent in New York was so competitive. People were always asking, ‘What does she do?’ and ‘Where will you send her to school?’ But she was only six months old!”

 

As most of her work was in Europe, Balti returned to Milan for four years. But even so, being a model attracted attention, with photographers even staking out Matilde’s pre-school. “People wanted to take pictures with me when I was with my daughter – I don’t like that,” she says. “I feel like I’m nobody; why bother me?”

During a vacation in Marbella, she decided to make it her home. “I’m not a city person,” she says. “All I need is an efficient airport.”

 

Today, Balti is still under contract with Dolce & Gabbana, as well as L’Oréal Paris, a setup that offers the luxury of relative flexibility. “I’m always at the office even if I’m at home, because there are decisions to be made and the accountant is always busting my balls,” she says. She hasn’t made a runway appearance in two years. “I was always stressed to death about walking because I’m such a mess in high heels,” she laughs. “When I opened for Giambattista Valli’s first-ever show [in 2005], I broke my heel. It was so upsetting, not for myself but for him! Fortunately, he told me, ‘In my philosophy, to be perfect you have to have one thing wrong.’”

 

Today, Balti’s on-duty looks are limited to red-carpet events. When we meet in the Hôtel Costes during Paris Fashion Week, she is dressed in black jeans, a tee and a leather jacket. “This is how I dress usually,” she says. “High-waisted jeans, so you never see my underwear!” In addition to her extensive Dolce & Gabbana closet, J Brand is a favorite for comfort and style. “I love great basics,” she says. “I keep it simple. A nice purse and shoes go a long way.”

 

Balti’s “non-beauty routine”, meanwhile, is based less on strategy, more on good genes. “I’m not a health nut. Whatever you see is because I’m lucky!” she says. “I stopped drinking and partying. I enjoy hot yoga, but my balance is terrible.” She also has no idea how to blow-dry her hair. “It would be nice to be the kind of girl who takes care of herself – it’s a way of loving yourself,” she observes. “But for me, it’s just a shower. I’m annoyed if I have to shave for work!”

 


Unusually, she’s also social-media averse, yet has managed to work even that to her advantage, by tracking down the author of a faux Facebook account and hiring him. “This 20-year-old from Georgia [in Europe] was doing an amazing job,” she says. “When I take a selfie on vacation, I send it to him to post. He’s awesome.”

 

As to future projects, Balti cultivates an aura of mystery. “I’ve been very lucky,” she says. “I’ve been working for 10 years, and modeling doesn’t usually last long.” She will disclose, however, that she has a dream – one not unrelated to fashion – and she may write a book one day. “It’s not like I want everyone to know my life, but I think I have some things to say that might be good lessons for other women.” Such as? “[Dealing with] men, for one,” she says. “But that’s only the beginning.”

Source: http://www.net-a-porter.com/magazine/277/10

 

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Thanks for all the updates, buddies! Flower%20for%20you.gif I loved Dolce & Gabbana summer printed campaign...but I couldn't say the same about the video advert. :no: I didn't like it, as usual. Winter 2015 video advert (page 344) wasn't a nice work, in my opinion.

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yes yes yes my brother saw her in Malaga on the 7 of January!!!! her belly is quite big!! :ddr:  :ddr:  he showed me photo on his i-phone!!! believe me or not, in months you will have the confirmation! from her or her agent, but yes she is pregnant!!!!! :flower:

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