>> In the latest round of Spring 2011 ad campaigns to pop up, Crystal Renn nabbed a starring role in Jimmy Choo's colorful, colorblocked set shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin; Baptiste Giabiconi sprays Freja Beha Erichsen and Stella Tennant in their Chanel suits with a water hose; and Ellen von Unwerth, who first found fame photographing Claudia Schiffer for Guess, is back for another round with the brand.
>> Tao Okamoto was tapped as one of the top faces to watch after Fall 2009 runway season, and designers are clearly enamored. Phillip Lim recently named her his muse and had all models on his Fall 2009 runway wear wigs cropped just like her hair, and now Ralph Lauren has welcomed her into his stable alongside current mainstays Ubah Hassan (who recently talked about what her Ralph casting was like) and Valentina Zelyaeva for his Fall 2009 campaign.
A lot of attention has been placed on bringing more models of color into the mix, but with heavy prevalence placed on black models; Tao's appointment could open the gateway for Asian models in major campaigns. Her agency promises "this is just the beginning of things to come for Ms. Okamoto," and Ralph is a good place to start — the exclusive contract Valentina Zelyaeva has had with the brand since 2005 helped elevate her to Forbes' list of 15 top-earning models last year, ringing in at $2.3 million, and her agent touting a Ralph Lauren deal as "one of the greatest things you can have."
>> THE MODELIZER —Ubah Hassan, the Somalian model who first appeared the historic issue of Vogue Italia last year, has become a Ralph Lauren favorite. She closed out his Spring 2009 show last September and joins Valentina Zelyaeva in the label's Spring 2009 campaign, which is big for two reasons — first, because Valentina's Ralph exclusive helped catapult her onto the list of top-earning models for 2008, and second, because we all know what a little Ralph love can do for a model — think Tyson Beckford. [TFS]