NEW YORK — Pierre Cardin cuts right to the proverbial chase. In his opinion, fragrance serves exactly one purpose: to seduce. Over lunch at Le Bernardin last week, and at a press event at Perfumania directly after, the 82-year-old fashion legend couldn’t help remarking that the bottle design for his upcoming women’s scent reminded him of, well, a certain sexual act.
“I’m sure it sounds scandalous, shocking even, but perfume is sex,” he said. “Sometimes it’s for yourself, but mostly it’s for someone else. We are always two in this life — in everything we do. In order to feel complete, we are always two.”
Although the fragrance — dubbed simply Pierre Cardin for Women — doesn’t launch until April, the Paris-based Cardin wanted to maximize his increasingly rare treks to New York by getting the word out early. Hence the unveiling at the Times Square outpost of Perfumania, where he chatted with some of the sales staff in Spanish, and bounced back and forth between French and English with the press.
“I’m very close to all my projects,” said Cardin, who counts roughly 800 licenses, the Maxim restaurants, hotels and a theater among his $1.5 billion empire. “I’m very involved, very concerned. This isn’t just another launch. And I don’t just lend my name to my fragrances.”
Described as a “modern floral,” the Firmenich-created scent contains top notes of cherry blossom, white pepper and kiwi; a heart of water lily, heliotrope flower and honeysuckle, and a drydown of plum, amber and musk. The line includes a 50-ml. eau de parfum for $35, a 100-ml. version for $49 and a 200-ml. body lotion for $25.
According to David Horner, a strategic planning consultant on the project, the scent will launch exclusively in Perfumania’s 232 American doors. The Northern Group, which acts as the U.S. licensee for all of Cardin’s 14 fragrances, also owns the Perfumania chain. While neither Horner nor Cardin would discuss figures, industry sources forecast first-year retail sales of approximately $2 million.
Despite Cardin’s long, storied life, he isn’t looking to recapture any fond memories with his latest fragrance offering. Rather, the scent is aimed squarely at young women. Really young — as in 16. To Cardin, these supersavvy teens are the wave of the future. “This wasn’t made for old people,” he said. “It was made for very young girls — 16, 17, 18. When we started working with Firmenich on this, we asked them, ‘What is the direction of the young people? What are their feelings? Their influences?’“I didn’t want to repeat the successes of the past, so I said no to all that,” he added. “Yesterday is yesterday. I’m always thinking young. There are some people my age who think young people know nothing. But for me, it’s the very opposite. I appreciate the mentality of young people. That’s why my name has stayed so strong for so long.”
Besides, said Cardin, “love stories start at 16, n’est-ce pas?”
Still an avid worker, Cardin can frequently be found at his French headquarters, located on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré “directly across from President Chirac’s” official residence. “Fashion is my drug, my necessity,” he said. “I go to my atelier every day just to see what’s happening.”
While he has spent the last 52 years zipping back and forth between France and the U.S., it isn’t nearly as fast and fun now as when he logged frequent-flyer miles on the Concorde. “One day, I left Paris at 11, arrived here at 8 o’clock in the morning, took the plane back at 7 p.m. and slept in my own bed,” he recalled. “All that traveling in just 24 hours.”
For certain projects — such as the debut of this fragrance — Cardin is still willing to hop on a boring old jet to make it happen. In fact, for someone who launched his first scent in 1972, he sounds genuinely excited about the category. “When you’ve been in love with someone, you never forget their perfume,” he said. “To me, it’s the most important sense.
“Once you smell a cow, you never forget what a cow smells like,” he added. “Once you smell jasmine, you never forget that either. Smelling is very, very important in life.”
And if his new olfactory venture proves fruitful, all the better. “I don’t need a new perfume,” said Cardin. “I want it to be good. If it’s only to make money, I don’t need it.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)