NEW YORK -- Get ready for another fragrance from Calvin Klein.
Once again, he's looking to break the rules.
According to industry reports, Klein and his fragrance licensee, Unilever's Calvin Klein Cosmetics, are attempting to develop a single scent that will appeal to men as well as women and can be marketed to both sexes.
Names reportedly under consideration include variations on the word "One," such as "One by Calvin Klein."
However, the project appears to be in the early stages, and like all fragrance concepts, there is no guarantee what direction it will ultimately take. If the fragrance can be successfully developed, it could hit the market as early as this fall. Sources speculated that the fragrance may be aimed at a younger consumer.
Klein executives could not be reached for comment Friday.
There have been few instances of companies marketing major, commercial fragrances to both men and women in widespread distribution. Last April, Bulgari launched Eau Parfumee as a unisex product. But the Bulgari scent is limited in distribution, restricted to the company's 33 boutiques worldwide, and the fragrance is only an eau de toilette splash, much like 4711, a light German scent that's been on the market for over 100 years.
In contrast to those more generic products, Klein is attempting to develop a full fragrance line, with mainstream department store distribution.
"They're always breaking ground," said one industry executive, of Klein and his fragrance business.
Annette Green, president of the Fragrance Foundation, noted that this new concept is a logical step for a company that has broken with tradition before.
It was Klein, working with his fragrance licensee, then headed by Robin Burns, who pioneered "master branding" -- separate men's and women's fragrances with the same name and a common advertising campaign. Master branding has now become common practice in the industry.
In the process, the cosmetics company became one of the leading forces in the global fragrance industry, with a wholesale volume of more than $400 million.
Klein's Obsession, a 1985 women's fragrance, was followed by Obsession for Men in 1986; Eternity in 1988 was echoed in 1989 by Eternity for Men, and the Escape for Men of 1993 came after Escape, a 1991 entry.Referring to the new fragrance, Green said, "I can't ever remember this being done before. I think this would be a good time for it. I think it could go."
The prevalence of master brands on the market -- such as the Eternity scents and Ralph Lauren Safari versus Safari for Men -- have blurred the gender separations, Green suggested, noting, "The consumer is not that savvy to see big differences between fragrances for men and women."
She pointed out that during the last few years, women have increasingly worn men's fragrances, such as the 1990 masculine scent, Lagerfeld Photo. And there have been earlier examples of women adopting scents originally aimed at men, such as Christian Dior's Eau Sauvage in 1966 and Guerlain's Habit Rouge in 1965.
Klein can avoid sexual hangups, Green speculated, by shunning masculine and feminine labels and keeping the positioning vague. "It should be marketed in a hugely mysterious way...that sense of oneness that can only be realized as a culmination of the sexual act. Who is the man and who is the woman is not really key.
"If I know Calvin, he probably will meld masculine and feminine notes together and speak to men and women with an olfactory equality," Green said.
The use of "one" in the name has been done before. One Man Show by Jacques Bogart was introduced in 1982; Georgette Mosbacher came out with One Perfect Rose in 1990 and La Parfumerie Inc. introduced One Unlimited Perfume in 1991.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion