PARIS - The shopping season has kicked off full of holiday cheer, since most European perfumeries expect to close 2006 with a single-digit to low-double-digit rise year on year.
Although some of that gain will be thanks to an easy comparison with 2005, when business was soft, an uptick in numerous Western European economies has contributed.Yet, that’s not to say fragrance is an easy sell these days. “Our competition is much broader than in the past,” said Damien Viel, fragrance category director at Marionnaud Parfumeries, with 560 doors in France, referring largely to electronics, which have in many instances supplanted fragrance as the must-have holiday gift.
“To be successful today, a scent introduction must be multidimensional and create a very strong impact at the retailer —visually, through sound, through smell and so on,” added Fabien Petitcolin, Printemps department store’s beauty buyer, overseeing 17 doors in France. “A page of advertising in a magazine is not enough. Of course, you have to recruit initially, but once a customer is in the store, you have to continue creating the dream and conveying the magic of the product.”
In a poll conducted by WWD of perfumery buyers representing 1,940 doors across France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., a handful of bestsellers were mentioned. Among the top eaux for women are Parfums Nina Ricci’s Nina, Guerlain’s Insolence, Dolce & Gabbana’s The One, Jil Sander’s Style, Hugo Boss’ Boss Femme and Parfums Giorgio Armani’s Armani Code. For men, Yves Saint Laurent Parfums’ L’Homme Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein’s Euphoria Men and Prada Amber Pour Homme were making waves Europe-wide. And then, of course, there are always the regional favorites.
For complete coverage of what people are saying about the state of the fragrance business on a country-by-country basis, see tomorrow's issue of WWD.
“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