It's a trend hotter than the chanel tweed jacket: hiring a Hollywood A-lister to be the new face of couture. This fall, Hilary Swank will make like Marky Mark and drop trou for Calvin Klein's Sensual Support line. And Scarlett Johansson will promote both Calvin Klein's new yet-to-be-named fragrance and Louis Vuitton. Chloe Sevigny, Christina Ricci, and ''Troy'''s Diane Kruger have also signed on to rep the French fashion label.
''Scarlett exudes sophistication and confidence not readily seen today,'' says Kim Vernon, senior VP of global advertising and communications at Calvin Klein. ''And Hilary'' -- who won an Oscar for her gender-bending role in ''Boys Don't Cry'' -- ''is not the expected choice for a women's-underwear campaign.''
After a well-publicized stint with J. Lo last year (above), Vuitton's creative director, Marc Jacobs, went back to casting catwalk vets like Amber Valletta and Naomi Campbell for the label's ads. But celebrity hawkers -- who usually have more accessible, non-modelly body types -- tend to translate star power into big sales; Wahlberg's and J. Lo's ads contributed to retail upticks for their respective fashion houses.
Not everyone is starstruck. ''It's seriously gotten out of hand -- not only will you see actresses like Scarlett in the editorial pages and on the cover of a magazine, but you will also see them in the ads,'' says Eric Wilson, associate sportswear editor at Women's Wear Daily. ''Leave something to the designers and let the models do their jobs, please.''