Seeking to boost its credentials as an authority in the fashion world, Avon has joined with designer Christian Lacroix to create two fragrances, Christian Lacroix Rouge for women and Noir for men.
The new multiyear partnership is part of the company's strategy to strengthen its brand's competitiveness through designer and celebrity alliances, according to Geralyn Breig, senior vice president and brand president of Avon. Earlier this year, Cynthia Rowley became the first designer to team up with the company for a limited edition color cosmetics line, Cynthia Rowley for Avon Fall 2007 Color Collection.
"These partnerships have proven to be commercially successful," said Claudia Poccia, president of Avon U.S. Beauty and global president of Mark. "Christian is a proven style authority, and we wanted to bring his style and artistic spirit to our consumers. He raises the bar for us aesthetically, and we think his work will really resonate with our customers and sales representatives."
Despite the designer brand's licensing agreement for a prestige scent with Inter Parfums Inc., Christian Lacroix viewed the collaboration with Avon as an opportunity to tap into the mass market to build brand awareness.
"Our distribution strategy and business model is very different than theirs, but this is a great way to show off our design sensibilities and mix them with Avon's beauty expertise," said Nicolas Topiol, chief executive officer for Christian Lacroix, who noted that the partnership would give the company exposure in South America and the Far East.
Avon was attracted to Lacroix's sophisticated and vivid style and his commitment to women.
"Everything he does comes from a perspective of celebrating women," said Breig. "His creations are about women's fantasies and making their dreams come true."
Christian Lacroix Rouge for women will be launched in September, and the men's scent, Noir, will make its debut in February. Both scents were created by International Flavors & Fragrance perfumers. Laurent Le Guernec and Carlos Benaim created Rogue, and Pascal Gaurin and Yves Cassar produced Noir.
Described as a "floral chypre," Rouge features top notes of white pepper, orange and red peony; middle notes of osmanthus flower, Japanese plum blossom and Amazonian water lily, and bottom notes of cashmere woods, patchouli and musk."For the fragrance, we wanted something that had passion, elegance and sensuality, embodying the seductive elements of a woman," said Tracy Haffner, Avon's executive director of global marketing for fragrance.
Retailing for $32, Rouge will be launched in the U.K. in September, followed by a full rollout to all markets, including the U.S., the following month. The gift-with-purchase will be a cosmetic bag designed by Lacroix. The fragrance's red and black packaging will reflect Lacroix's passion for bullfighting.
Noir, which retails for $28, is a "fresh, woody" blend with top notes of ginger and saffron; middle notes of cardamom and orris, and bottom notes of white cedarwood, driftwood, vetiver and musk.
Although executives wouldn't comment, industry sources estimated that first-year retail sales for both fragrances would be about $10 million.
According to Poccia, both launches will be supported by print and television ad campaigns in Europe and Latin America. Plans for U.S. advertising are not yet final. Fashion photographer Javier Vallhonrat photographed the print ads.
“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