WWD.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/fifi-s-starry-night-1034171/
government-trade
government-trade

FiFi’s Starry Night

They say it’s not a party ‘til something gets broken —and by those standards, the FiFi Awards and accompanying afterparties definitely fit the bill.

View Slideshow

They say it’s not a party ‘til something gets broken —and by those standards, the FiFi Awards and accompanying afterparties definitely fit the bill, with broken glass (at a high-profile afterparty) and broken hearts (of non-winners) abounding.

The annual awards ceremony was held this year for the first time at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan —and proved to be a starry night in more ways than one. The celebrity contingent increased, even drawing in superstar Sean “Diddy” Combs, both a presenter and a FiFi winner.

“When I started Sean John, I had big dreams,” Combs, a first-time FiFi attendee, said before the ceremony started. “From the CFDA award to this now, this is big.” Speaking of big, “I have so many ideas for fragrance I wish they could produce it quicker! I’m already on my fourth fragrance, but we’re only in production with the second one.” Speaking of production, Combs, who recently told WWD that he was considering doing a baby carriage license, seemed more on board with the idea. “I have so many kids now, it would probably be appropriate,” said Combs, who welcomed twin daughters in December.

The evening also brought out stars inspired by the overwhelming successes of recent celebrity fragrances from Combs, Sarah Jessica Parker and others. Several admitted that they’re actively looking for fragrance deals, including Paula Abdul and Zac Posen. “At the right time, [doing a fragrance] it’s definitely part of my dream and my plan,” said Posen. But the chief purpose of his appearance Thursday, he said, was to support Combs: “I’m so proud of what Sean and the Estée Lauder Cos. have built,” he added.

Donna Karan, who was the evening’s Hall of Fame recipient, admitted that she and her late husband, artist Stephan Weiss, had ulterior motives for getting into beauty: “He figured if we made it in the beauty business, then I wouldn’t have to sit and be designing collection after collection,” she said with a laugh.

Daisy Fuentes — whose fragrance Dianoche was nominated, but didn’t win — embodied the feelings of most also-rans with her succinct summation from the stage. “This sucks,” she said with a mock pout. “I really wanted to win!”

There’s always next year for Fuentes, who will release her second women’s fragrance in September. Fuentes is also working on a show called “Eco-Zone Project,” which involves helping to green up celeb homes. “I’m learning so much in the process,” she said.

Paula Abdul was on hand to present an award at the FiFi’s last night. The American Idol judge said she’s currently working on a perfume she’s been developing for the last seven months. “It’s fun, flirty and chic with some amber, rose and leather notes with a hint of vanilla,” said Abdul, who added that the scent is aimed at a “sophisticated type of woman.” “I like putting on a lab coat and working on blending fragrances. I’m now working on a disgusting fragrance for Simon [Cowell],” she joked. Abdul has been working exclusively with fragrance oil house Firmenich on her upcoming projects, including a fragrance for the teen and tween markets.

Diddy was happy enough to be giddy at his afterparty at The Box on Chrystie Street, featuring a half-naked horned dancer singing Blur’s “Girls and Boys.” Up next was a school girl sporting a pink plaid skirt, midriff-bearing top and pig tails, performing a rendition of Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy,” complete with a crew of backup dancers throwing lollipops into the crowd.

Combs said, “It’s a proud moment [winning the FiFi.] It’s nothing you expect. It is truly a gift to be respected and honored by the [fragrance] community.”

But less than two hours later, the evening’s excitement boiled over, as an overzealous fan attempted to approach Diddy, who was standing on a couch watching the fire flame act. Bodyguards moved quickly to remove the man, and a bit of a melee ensued. Fortunately, despite flying fists, the only casualties were several bottles of top-shelf liquor.

View Slideshow