Hatcher bumped into Mark Badgley and James Mischka on the red carpet of the "American Idol" finale in May.
She reminded them that they were the first to create a gown for her when she starred in the '90s TV series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," they said.
So when the designers invited her to be their latest celebrity model, Hatcher showed up for the photo shoot with the hand-painted platinum silk velvet gown with a gold baroque pattern that she wore to the 1995 Emmys.
"She was one of our first celebrities," Mischka said.
Hatcher, who stars on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," is both sophisticated and down-to-earth, said Badgley, making her a great match for the brand. Plus, he told The Associated Press in an interview, she's the same size as the brand's fit model.
"She's a beautiful, smart woman, and I think our customer can relate to her," he said.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Sharon Stone have been featured in ads in previous seasons.
For this round with Hatcher, Badgley said his company brought two trailers filled with clothes to the photo shoot at a Bel Air, Calif., mansion.
"She tried everything on," he said.
They settled on a handful of looks, including a black lame evening gown, a purple gown with a jeweled collar, a blouson cocktail dress and a cotton tweed pantsuit.
A photo of Hatcher wearing the purple gown and sitting with the designers was intended as a candid shot but ended up in the ad campaign, which debuts in September issues of fashion magazines.
"They'd just given her a glass of champagne," Badgley said. "You know what's wrong with this picture? We don't have any champagne!"