It’s well-known how strong the ties are between scent and a sense of place. For Dolce & Gabbana, its iconic Light Blue fragrance is synonymous with Capri — a tiny island off the south coast of Italy. Characterised by zesty citrus, salty air and skin that’s been warmed by the sun, it’s a fragrance that speaks to the joys of summer: light, warmth, romance and the sea.

The associated Light Blue campaigns over the years have added to the narrative. Shot repeatedly in Capri — in the grandeur of the faraglioni — the iconic images have long captured the essence of the fragrance. It’s fitting then that the modern face is Bianca Balti, an Italian model with an incredibly successful career in the fashion industry.

Here, we speak to Balti on the making of such iconic imagery, her relationship with scent and the beauty rituals she subscribes to.


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GRAZIA: You’ve been working with Dolce & Gabbana for many years now. How has your relationship evolved?

BIANCA: My relationship with Dolce&Gabbana has evolved like a love story! We first fell in love with each other, and now the love and respect between us has grown into a mature relationship. It’s great, as a model, to be embraced by the brand through different phases of my life. And it’s an honour for me to keep being part of this family.

GRAZIA: Light Blue has become such an iconic fragrance since it launched twenty years ago. What kind of feelings does the scent evoke for you?

BIANCA: Light Blue was actually my very first perfume. My aunt gave it to me as a Christmas present when I was in high school and ever since then, it has always conjured for me the most carefree and emotionally intense year of my life.

GRAZIA: Tell us about shooting the latest campaign in Capri – what was the whole experience like?

BIANCA: The whole experience was like a dream. It’s really hard to pick the best moment! I would probably say the most memorable moment was being in the light blue sea with David, being kissed by the sun on such a beautiful September day. But then there were the magical dinners in town with the whole crew – those were so special too.

GRAZIA: Did you ever imagine that the Light Blue campaign would become so iconic? What was your reaction when you first saw the film?

BIANCA: The campaign was already iconic before I came into the picture. The shoots with David and the girls that came before me made every woman on the planet dream of his eyes! So when I found out I was going to be in the campaign with him, I couldn’t believe that I would be part of that dream!

GRAZIA: What is the biggest ‘pinch-me moment’ of your career to date?

BIANCA: When Dolce & Gabbana signed me in an exclusivity contract 15 years ago and I got to do the runaway with Gisele! I had just started modelling and I had grown up with all the Dolce & Gabbana campaigns hanging up on my bedroom wall, so it was a real dream come true.

GRAZIA: What would your dream project be, either inside or outside your industry?

BIANCA: I would love to write something that could inspire the younger generations.

GRAZIA: What does a perfect day off look like for you?

BIANCA: The perfect day off is at the beach and includes swimming or surfing in the ocean. Nothing has the power to calm me down and heal my soul like the sea does.

GRAZIA: What are some daily rituals you swear by?

BIANCA: I try to meditate for ten minutes as soon as I wake up, and to write a gratitude list at night before I go to bed. It really helps me to feel centred.

GRAZIA: What do you love about the way Italians approach and think about beauty?

BIANCA: Italian beauty is alive, real, genuine, expressive, sexy and spontaneous.

GRAZIA: When it comes to fragrance, what kinds of scents are you particularly drawn to?

BIANCA: I love fresh fragrances that are able to evoke good memories, like Light Blue!

GRAZIA: What three things are currently on your wish list?

BIANCA: To go see my family in Italy. To go on vacation in Italy. And, as always, to have serenity in my heart.