As the new face of Burberry, she is following in the footsteps of Kate Moss and tipped to be the next big thing in the fashion world.
But a curious picture showing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
holding what appears to be drug paraphernalia may be cause for concern for the clothing label’s bosses.
The company has already been dragged into a drugs scandal, after Ms Moss was pictured apparently snorting cocaine, so will be keen to avoid any further adverse publicity.
The picture of Rosie enjoying herself at a party with friends has appeared on a fashion industry website. Casually dressed in jeans and a gilet, the rising star is seen clutching what appears to be a bong. Also known as water pipes, bongs are used to smoke tobacco, cannabis or other herbal products.
They are filled with water which cools smoke before it enters the lungs, making it easier to inhale. Users can therefore draw in a large amount of smoke quickly, rather than smaller, more frequent puffs on a pipe or cigarette.
With her head thrown back and mouth open, the model is pictured huddled with fellow models Jennifer Pugh and Aleksandra Rastovic, who is the face of Armani and Calvin Klein. As Croatian-born Aleksandra, 20, looks on, American Jennifer leans towards Rosie and poses provocatively with her tongue out.
Rosie, who has been dating Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood’s art dealer son Tyrone, 24, since last year, was snapped at a friend’s private party a couple of years ago. The picture was later posted on fashion industry website supermodels.nl, attracting several comments from the models, bookers and fans who use the website’s open forum.
Last month, 21-year-old Rosie was unveiled as the new face of Burberry. She appears in their autumn/winter campaign, shot by Mario Testino, alongside British actor Sam Riley.
The fashion giant has a history of turning unknown models into international catwalk stars and was one of the first to sign Kate Moss in 1998. They dropped her from a planned advertising campaign in the wake of the ‘Cocaine Kate’ scandal, but reinstated her when police charges against her were dropped.
The Burberry contract has already caused problems for Rosie, leading to tensions with Agyness Deyn, whom she replaced.
Rosie grew up the eldest of three children in Quither, a four-house hamlet near Tavistock in Devon.
The family owned a farmhouse where they grew organic vegetables and kept chickens, ducks, pigs and sheep. But Rosie said she knew from an early age that she was destined for bigger things.
‘I was made for the city,’ she said. ‘I knew that I was going to leave Devon and that, whatever I did, it would be big.’
She first posed for the camera five years ago after she was discovered as a 15-year-old GCSE student doing work experience at London model agency Profile. She got her first big break in January 2004 when she appeared in a New York fashion shoot for Teen Vogue, and she made her catwalk debut the same year.
Speaking three years ago, she said: ‘I’m pretty level-headed and down-to-earth. I had a regular upbringing . . . that keeps me pretty normal.’
Now signed to Models 1, she has been photographed for Chopard perfume, Clinique, Jaeger, DKNY, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
She has been seeing Tyrone ‘Ty’ Wood since meeting him at a Rolling Stones concert in Barcelona last year.
In a recent interview, Ty said he was ‘madly, deeply in love’ with her, while she has said: ‘I think it’s serious. There’s a healthy future ahead of us.’
Rosie says she is the ‘luckiest girl’ because of her lifestyle, adding: ‘I have some great memories and experiences, and look forward to achieving even more. I’m truly blessed and fortunate to be in my position.’
Burberry declined to comment on the photograph, but a friend of Rosie’s said: ‘She is aware of the picture’s existence, but she was 18 or 19 when that was taken. She’s just turned 21 so it’s two or three years old.’
Speaking from the family farmhouse yesterday, Rosie’s mother Fiona, a personal trainer, confirmed it was her daughter in the picture.
But she added: ‘I really cannot say anything about it, my darling. Isn’t it lovely that someone so young is doing so well?’