Sylvie Ganter and Christophe Cervasel, both former top executives at Selective Beauty, are trying to revive an old fragrance tradition — with an upscale, modern twist.
The entrepreneurs are building a house of eaux de cologne based on citrus formulations with the launch of five fragrances that happened in late January under the banner of Atelier Cologne. Now the partners plan to solidify their foothold in 42 doors of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman by introducing candles and soaps that match each of the five original cologne absolue scents, which were marketed in 6.7-oz. bottles. Then in November, 1-oz. versions of the five colognes will be offered as alternatives — or as travel sizes — to the large originals. “With the petites, we will become an affordable luxury brand,” Cervasel said.
The collection is based on a tradition that dates back 300 years to a time when a homesick perfumer, working in Cologne, Germany, created citrus-based fragrances that reminded him of his native Italy. Hence, eau de colognes were born. But the citrus nature of the formula resulted in a lack of staying power. To rectify this, the entrepreneursworked with Mane and Robertet to marry the original cologne structure with the concentration and some of the architectural characteristics of an eau de parfum. The percentage of juice in each scent ranges from 12 to 20 percent, depending on the scent’s character. And each scent — Orange Sanguine, Grand Neroli, Bois Blonds, Trefle Pur and Oolang Infini — comes with a poetic description of an emotion-laden moment in time, hinting at a story.
“We are doing scents that remind us of the great moments in our lives,” said Cervasel. For each fragrance, there is a photo showing a tableau of objects to illustrate the mood. The pictures are used in sampling and advertising.
The large bottles vary in price from $145 to $175 each, depending on the cost of the ingredients, and the small sizes will range from $50 to $65 each, with a full set for $230. The soaps will be priced at $15 each and the candles at $45.
According to the partners, a Web site is expected to go live next month, a store is on the drawing boards and plans are being made to expand into France and Italy next year, and possibly Germany. Industry sources estimate the fledgling brand could do $1 million at wholesale this year and $2 million in 2011.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast