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TOKYO — Lady Gaga’s first foray into the fragrance business became a reality Wednesday, when her new scent went on sale at a pop-up store here.
The pop-up store, located in a shopping development in the Harajuku district, will be open for one month. It is currently the only place in the world selling the star’s fragrance line, called Fame, until it makes its debut in other markets come September.
The boutique, dubbed Lady Gaga Haus Laboratories, is located on the second floor of the recently opened Tokyu Plaza retail complex that houses brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and American Eagle Outfitters. After being greeted by a red-carpeted display and testing area, customers make their way through black fringe curtains to a room where the products are available for purchase. The room has something of a science lab feel to it, with glass canisters of plants and flowers lining shelves that flank a TV screen playing promo videos.
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The temporary shop has inspired some other tenants in the building to create Gaga-themed offerings to coincide with the pop-up store. Playing off the fragrance’s unique black color, an adjoining café is offering a series of black drinks and desserts, such as a blackberry smoothie, a mojito made with Dr. Pepper and a black sesame sundae.
Before the pop-up store opened Wednesday at 11 a.m., there were more than 200 customers, many dressed in over-the-top, Gaga-inspired fashions, waiting to be among the first to purchase the products. The line went down the stairs of the mall before snaking its way partway up the hill of the Omotesando shopping avenue.
The first 200 shoppers were given a sample of the fragrance upon entry. Once inside the store, eager and enthusiastic customers sang and danced along to the Lady Gaga soundtrack while spritzing each other, perhaps a bit excessively, with the scent. Oiled up and shirtless male models made the rounds with testers, often stopping to pose for photos with shoppers.
Fons Houtkamp, general manager of Asia export for Coty Inc., which produces the fragrance line, said that the pop star herself had chosen the Japanese capital for the scent launch.
“She said, ‘If there is one store in the world, one door in the world, it should be in Tokyo,’” said Houtkamp.
Although Lady Gaga didn’t make the trip to Tokyo to launch the fragrance, she was closely involved with the pop-up store’s concept, Houtkamp explained.
“This whole store is done with her, and everything you see here she has seen,” he said. “She is a creative person…so it’s a continuous process. She has challenged our whole company, I think, to bring it an edge further.”
Houtkamp declined to give a sales forecast for the day, stating, “I think what for us is more important is to make a bit of noise and to create an exciting moment for people here in Tokyo. We are not going to make money…in this event.”
Lady Gaga Fame is available in three sizes: 30-ml., which sells for 4,725 yen, or $60.43 at current exchange; 50-ml., for 5,985 yen, or $76.55, and 100-ml., for 9,975 yen, or $127.58. There is also a 200-ml. body lotion for 3,045 yen, or $38.94, and a 142-g. soap for 2,730 yen, or $34.92. The soap will only be available for the first several weeks following the initial launch.