Emily Ratajkowski Isn’t Afraid to Talk Back

In the most recent Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb campaign, Emily Ratajkowski pulls the proverbial pin on a grenade filled with perfume. But in the larger sense, EmRata herself is the grenade. The 31-year-old is strategically popping flashbulbs and champagne bottles at a string of runway shows and party entrances—smile, wave, flash, repeat—that began at Marc Jacobs, where her wig made headlines (“Yeah, sorry, I loved that bob, but I’m probably never cutting my hair short,” she laughs after I ask her about it). There she goes down the catwalk at Simkhai, closing the show after Raf Simons’ muse Julia Nobis and Prada face Kai Newman saunter by. There are also the tabloid gasps about her rumored-but-likely connection to comedian Eric André, because now that a stunning woman is back available on the market, the general public must know all the things about her love life.

Up to now, sex symbols like Pamela Anderson and Britney Spears were forced to let other people’s cameras do the talking, to the detriment of their very own health, and more remotely, the health of many ladies worldwide. However the difference between a bombshell and a grenade is that you could weaponize one for yourself, and Emily Ratajkowski finally has the cultural and technological tools to do what eluded those that helped create the Hot Girl Industrial Complex up to now—namely, a microphone and a WiFi connection.

Emily Ratajkowski for Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb.


“I was afraid of the sound of my very own voice,” Ratajkowski tells ELLE.com just before the official debut of her Flowerbomb campaign. “I actually disliked how I sounded, and I’d often cringe if I had to listen to a recording of myself. Like, ‘Oh god, my voice! No!’” she laughs. “Even after I was writing my book [2021’s My Body], I used to be very nervous when I spotted I’d need to record the audiobook version. Putting my thoughts down on paper was step one towards reclaiming my voice, I suppose, nevertheless it was still only a part of the image. But now, because I do a podcast [High/Low] every month, I’ve really needed to face the mic, and provides a literal voice to who I’m. That has made me deeply scared, at first, but additionally it made me feel…I don’t know, more calm? Because I’m finally a three-dimensional person. I’m not only a picture on the market. I’m me.” I ask Ratajkowski if which means her Disney princess is The Little Mermaid, because she finally gets redemption by reclaiming her voice. “Oh exactly,” she laughs. “It’s all Ariel.”

Ratajkowski’s latest podcast guest is none apart from Donatella Versace, whom Ratajkowski calls “an actual one” before adding, “My experience has been, ‘Don’t meet your heroes,’ unfortunately. But I feel she’s the exception. She tells it prefer it is. Though I’ll say, for higher or worse, I hate small talk. So whether I’m talking to you on the podcast or at a celebration or dinner, I’m just going to pry slightly bit! Persons are so interesting, so I would like to get to the meat of things…however the podcast has also made me realize that I’m what they call an ‘energetic listener,’ which mainly means I’m an interrupter,” she laughs. “I’ll say, ‘mm-hmm’ or ‘yeah’ or I’ll tell my very own story to indicate I’m listening, or we’re on the identical page. Hearing that on a podcast has made me realize that, now that I actually have the mic, I can learn to shut up slightly bit more. That’s not a nasty thing!”

Viktor&Rolf Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Fragrance Spray at Nordstrom, Size 5 Oz

Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Fragrance Spray at Nordstrom, Size 5 Oz

Viktor&Rolf Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Fragrance Spray at Nordstrom, Size 5 Oz

Those watching the Flowerbomb business for the primary time might notice she’s not wearing too many clothes, but Ratajkowski herself thinks that getting dressed is step one to putting on perfume. “It’s the last touch before I’m going out the door. I’m sure that’s not the right option to do it, nevertheless it’s what I do, because I feel perfume is the last moment of doing something for yourself before you walk out the door and meet other people. It’s that moment of connecting it to my look, and my mood. And Flowerbomb has an actual power to it. It’s a shot of confidence and glamour.”

Fans of the video ad may also recognize Ratajkowski’s gravel-flecked voice at the tip. “I recorded that throughout the photo shoot,” she says. “We went right into a very quiet room within the photo studio and locked the door. Then they made me say ‘Flowerbomb, the enduring fragrance by Viktor & Rolf’ like 1,000,000 times. There was a director going, ‘Okay, now say it with slightly more levity. Now try it with slightly bit more energy. Okay, now more cool. Okay, now be sexy.’ I’m glad they got what they wanted, and that they thought my voice gave the impression of such an epic fragrance,” she says, “because something I do know is, I’m all the time just going to sound like me.”

Headshot of Faran Krentcil

Editor at Large, ELLE.com

“Her beauty and her brain go not together.” —William Shakespeare

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