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A Conversation with Billy Baldwin

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Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a cocktail party celebrating actor, producer and writer Billy Baldwin. Baldwin is the Global Alpina Brand Ambassador and the face of its 2012 advertising campaign-the brand hosted the trendy outdoor shindig. Located at The North Cabana in the Maritime Hotel in NYC, Billy chatted fashion, his role on Gossip Girl (xoxo), Alpina watches, and more to Style Solutions.

S: How did your relationship with Alpina watches begin?

W: My agents called me to tell me that Alpina was interested in having me be an ambassador for the company. I was very honored and flattered to be considered. The more we talked, I learned about the brand. It's a brand in the midst of making a comeback. It was a very prominent brand in Europe in the '50s and '60s, and they're rebranding it. There's no reason it shouldn't be in the glass case side-by-side with Cartier, Rolex, etc. It will come soon.

S: What qualities do you look for when shopping for watches?

B: I know a little bit about branding, history and craftsmanship, but what appeals to me most is the aesthetic of a watch. I like to purchase with reason. I have about 20-25 watches, some of the brands above, but I've only purchased probably five to six of them as I've received them as gifts from managers, agents, lawyers, my brothers, friends; watches that I've accumulated along the way.

S: Tell me about some of your previous celebrity endorsements.

B: I've done some things for Calvin Klein, some companies in the medical device industry and I'm about to do another campaign for a clothing designer.

S: I love watching you on Gossip Girl. Did being William van der Woodsen on-screen come naturally to you?

B: Well, you've got to remember that early in my career I did a lot of research as preparation for a part that I played in The Preppie Murder and I played Robert Chambers who was very big in that circuit. It's something I've been well-versed in when I did that film in the late '80s.

S: Any tips for my male readers who want to stay in touch with what's going on in fashion?

B: You can't really avoid fashion when you're reading the newspaper, watching TV and surfing the Internet. You're picking up on what's trending. I also have friends in very high places in the fashion industry.

S: Like who?

B: Jane Buckingham is one of my best friends. Whenever I need to know what's happening, I call her!