KARL LAGERFELD TOLD BALTI SHE HAD “A BUTT LIKE A GODDESS”.
It’s claimed that perfection can only be reached via certain imperfections. Whoever spouted such nonsense never sat across from Bianca Balti – lost in what’s a faultless jumble of fine facial features and slender, sparkling, blue eyes. They’re the same two eyes that for years have been staring back from various Dolce & Gabbana campaigns – her time alongside David Gandy’s British bulge for ‘Light Blue’ instantly memorable. That this perfectly proportioned Italian found fashion – or it, her – is not the tale of a youngster being ‘discovered’ while flipping through a magazine at an airport or while talking diners though the specials of the day. No, Balti sought a way into the industry – in need of money, as she was then living in a squat, partying most nights and working a supermarket job by day. “And my mother was urging me to see [the scout] because she just wanted me to do something,” the 32-year-old’s said. That initial meeting took place little more than a decade ago. And it led to instant work – Balti flown past the snaking queue of attractive wannabes, landing with a highfashion bang in debut shoots for both Vogue Italia and L’officiel. Brands started circling, primarily D&G, who exclusively signed the Italian beauty to walk and front campaigns. She penned the deal three months on from her supermarket checkout days. “I think it was meant to be,” Balti’s said of her sudden ascent and the strong relationship she shares with Domenico and Stefano. “That was the plan God had for me.” Karl Lagerfeld is another to have become transfixed – securing Balti for various campaigns while also shooting her as part of the 2011 Pirelli Calendar line-up, alongside Julianne Moore, among others. Lagerfeld told Balti she had “a butt like a goddess”, encouraging her to keep it that way by not working out. She made sure to follow that advice to the letter; to this day, she claims to have “never done one exercise in my whole life”. They’re the words of a woman – and mother of two girls – who keeps things honest. For all the pomp, perks and the illuminated ‘supermodel’ tag that sits above her, Balti has a firm and attractive grip on reality. “It’s easy for me to stay grounded because I know I am just a girl, a mother, a daughter, a lover... A normal person, who was lucky enough to do this job, and I know it’s my job – not the person I am.” As we said: perfect.