NEW YORK — Alexander McQueen is making room in his kingdom for his ideal woman.
Three years after launching his first women's fragrance, Kingdom, the designer is about to launch his second women's scent this fall, My Queen, as his new olfactive icon.
According to Christine Piccola, senior marketing director for classic and designer brands at the U.S. division of YSL Beaute, the new fragrance has a more feminine positioning, with more of a magical, enchanting fairy-tale aura than McQueen's first scent, which was launched in March 2003.
"I worked with Nick Knight and discussed an image that is long-lasting, romantic, based on the works of Gainsborough and Whistler. It is an image that can last for a long time, a memorable image," said McQueen, who spoke during the fragrance's Paris unveiling , held at the British embassy there on June 21.
"She's my queen," he continued, adding that she's "godlike." "She gives herself to everything around her. She is empowered."
Chantal Roos, chairman and chief executive officer of the parent YSL Beaute in Paris, said of the positioning of the fragrance, "It's a fairy tale and the fairy tale has no end. The idea of the fragrance is to last for eternity and the advertising is the same — the ad is not just of this season."
The fairy-tale aspect was carried through to the purple flacon, which was designed to suggest a bottle of magical potions. Roos noted that McQueen is a collector of precious glass and he suggested that the company hire a designer of Baccarat crystal. The resulting flask personifies the structure of the formula. It is a floral Oriental developed by Anne Flipo and Dominique Ropion of International Flavors & Fragrances — with an unusual formula. The structure of the scent has four facets, dubbed Marvelous, Dazzling, Mysterious and Intoxicating. Each facet, portrayed as individual layers of a woman's personality, radiates from a common heart and shared base.
Marvelous is designed to open with the "innocent, warm and tender" feeling of childhood, Roos said, with notes of Parma violet and sweet almond. Dazzling is meant to be illuminating with orange blossom absolute fused with white musk and heliotrope in a powdery and luminous bouquet of white flowers. The formula then turns more feminine, sweet and intimate with the Mysterious facet, consisting of patchouli, cedar and vetiver. As the name implies, Intoxicating is meant to be charming and bewitching with Florentine iris and vanilla.The formula's facets are signified by four corresponding indentations in the glass bottle. Also, the company has, for once, taken the additional step of echoing the mystery element in the positioning with the design of the outer box, covered in white pique fabric. A shadowy outline appears as if a ghost of the bottle is trying to break through the packaging.
The fragrance will come in two sizes of eau de parfum, a 1.6-oz. version for $58 and a 3.3-oz. version for $75, plus a 0.5-oz. perfume for $145 and 6.6-oz. body lotion for $35.
In the U.S., the fragrance will be launched Oct. 15 in the 95 doors of Nordstrom, which was described as "a service-oriented environment" by Maggie Ciafardini, ceo and managing director of the U.S. division of YSL Beaute. Noting that the fragrance will be on counter in September, she indicated that Nordstrom was chosen, in part, because the chain does well with designer brands and the Nordstrom customer is younger than those usually found in department stores. That is a key consideration because the consumer target for My Queen is younger than that of the earlier Kingdom. Piccola put the new target at 30.
The Nick Knight ad will be used for blow-ins in the Nordstrom catalogue and will go out as scented direct-mail pieces. Ciafardini also plans to use it on Nordstrom's Web site. It also will be launched overseas in the fall, where distribution will be equally tight. Roos estimated the global distribution at only 3,000 to 4,000 doors, compared with 16,000 for YSL.
She compared the launch to "raising a small child. We have to start slowly, slowly and see how people respond to it," Roos said.
The caution is justified by the fact that the McQueen beauty franchise is still unfolding. Roos indicated that she expects this fragrance to be more readily embraced than Kingdom, which has had a mixed record. The earlier scent had landed in the top 10 at Selfridges and still does a healthy turnover in the U.K. It also remains on the market in a number of European countries. But in the U.S., it is sold only in McQueen's downtown boutique in New York.She said that, while McQueen remains proud of Kingdom as a beautiful product, he nevertheless is continuing to gain a feel for fragrance, as a practical personal use item, after his first effort. Kingdom, she said, suffered from being perceived as a little bit "elitist."
Roos declined to discuss numbers, but industry sources estimate that My Queen could do 10 million euros, or about $12 million at current exchange, globally, in the first four months this fall, with the U.S. contributing $2 million to $2.5 million at retail during the fall alone.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)