NEW YORK — Fourteen years after Sung Homme, Alfred Sung is doing his second men’s fragrance and his licensee, Riviera Concepts, is betting the launch will boost its hottest property.
This story first appeared in the June 14, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Mission: Hei, as the new scent is called, will make its debut in September as a follow-up to Sung’s women’s fragrance named Shi. Currently Riviera’s single best-selling brand after less than two years on the market, Shi exceeded $20 million in U.S. sales volume at retail last year.
The Concept: “We think now is a good time to exploit the concept of Shi with Hei,” said Adrian Ellis, co-owner and partner at Riviera Concepts. “We think we can use the successes of Shi — packaging that stands out, the marketing approach — [for Hei].” Shi is inspired by feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of configuring objects for a harmonious environment. Hei, pronounced like “hey,” also shares that influence. But while Shi was meant to suggest a balance between earth, fire, wood, water and minerals, the natural elements of feng shui, Hei “takes that a step further,” said Andrea Gerson, director of product development. “When these elements are in balance, energy is released,” she said, pointing to the boiling of water. “That’s the inspiration behind Hei.”
The Goal: Hei will match Shi’s distribution of roughly 1,400 doors, including Federated Department Stores units, as well as Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Marshall Field’s and Dayton Hudson stores. Sources expect Hei to do $10 million in first-year retail sales.
The Creation: Givaudan’s David Apel blended olfactory notes for Hei, including bamboo and bergamot at the top, fennel and cardamom in the middle, and mahogany and cedar at the base. The Hei bottle, a collaboration between Sung and Jerome Dinand, was colored blue to represent a body of water and was manufactured by Pochet.
The Message: Launching simultaneously will be two Hei eau de toilette sprays, in 3.4-oz. ($48) and 1.7-o.z ($35) sizes; two 3.4-oz. aftershaves, a splash ($34) and a gel ($29), and a deodorant ($14). Backed by a promotional budget reportedly totaling $3 million, support for Hei will include visuals in retailer catalogs and more than 15 million scented impressions, including vials, blow-ins and direct mailers.