When she’s not acting as the muse du jour for Salvatore Ferragamo, Italian model Bianca Balti lets loose at the Ritz hotel in Paris. Photographs by Dylan Don. Directed by Robert Rabensteiner.
For Bianca Balti, acting like a signorina is something that comes naturally to the 28-year-old model, who has graced the covers of French Vogue, British Harper's Bazaar, and French Elle and starred in campaigns for such labels as Dolce & Gabbana and St. John. And given that Signorina is also the name of the new Ferragamo fragrance for which Balti is the face of, her work of late has begun to mirror everyday life. “The role I had to play [for the Ferragamo campaign] was simply myself,” she tells us. “Which made the working days very easy.”
The campaign only reaffirms Balti’s joie de vivre and very easygoing Italian outlook, explains Salvatore Ferragamo’s creative director, Massimiliano Giornetti. And it was with Balti’s long-standing relationship with the house in mind that he designed a red ensemble for her (seen in the above video), available for purchase at Trunkshow.Ferragamo.com, and featured prominently on TheGirlsAboutTown.Tumblr.com. “The fragrance tells the story of a woman who explores life with enthusiasm and passion, with a cultural background that has also educated her in beauty—much like Bianca,” says Giornetti.
For a woman who spends so much time wearing high fashion, it should come as no surprise that Balti’s off-duty style is more low-key, as she admits to often running around in jeans and sweaters, with all of her energy focused on her number-one fan: her 4-year-old daughter, Matilde.“[She] is always enthusiastic about life; she's very feminine and not shy at all,” says Balti, claiming she expressed a lot of the same qualities in her own youth.
While Balti says she often travels to Paris for work (where she checks into the Hôtel Costes), she always looks forward to returning to Italy to be reunited with Matilde: “Since I travel quite often, the best place I [can imagine going] back to is home.”
But Matilde isn’t the only Italian that the striking brunette has eyes for—although she parted ways with Matilde’s father in 2009, Balti has been happily dating her current boyfriend, 26-year-old Sardinia-born musician Francesco Mele (of the Italian band, Cats), for almost a year now.
“I met my boyfriend through a [mutual] friend who didn't want him to leave for Australia and tried to make us fall in love to keep him close to her,” Balti explains. “He was supposed to move to Australia with his then girlfriend in about a week. So we met at this dinner, and we liked each other so much that he didn't leave anymore!”
And who’s to blame him? We probably wouldn’t leave either. —Charlotte Steinway