PARIS — Thirteen years after catapulting Angel into the fragrance stratosphere, Thierry Mugler Parfums is set to launch a scent with otherworldly positioning.
Alien — as the new juice for women is called — is due out globally, save for Spain and Portugal, in September.
Vera Strubi, president of Thierry Mugler Parfums Worldwide and head of Stella Cadente Parfums (both divisions of Groupe Clarins), described the Alien woman as "a kind of shaman, a type of enchantress. She is transmitting joy in the world. This woman has special power. You don't know if she comes from the past or the future; she comes from elsewhere, which the name indicates."
Strubi and Mugler — who was involved in each step of the project — began thinking up the new fragrance's name five years ago. In keeping with the appellation of some other Mugler scents, the team wanted it to be five letters long and starting with "a," like Angel.
"We thought something with five letters would bring luck," said Strubi. "We thought Alien is a very Mugler word."
The advertising also clearly has the stamp of Mugler, who chose and photographed the striking and otherworldly looking half-Korean, half-German model Tina Baltzer to star in the single- and double-page print ads. In them, she holds her hands up, with the Alien bottle. Between the two, mysterious rays pass, and Baltzer's hair streams in undulating waves. Mugler also created the 30- and 45-second TV ads starring the model, which should break in some countries during the holidays.
For the scent, the Mugler team wanted a fragrance full of paradoxes. So International Flavors & Fragrances' Dominique Ropion and Laurent Bruyere concocted a juice with white transparent amber notes, a woody note suffused with the proprietary Cashmeran and a jasmine sambac note.
"It is haute parfumerie fragrance," said Strubi, who added that in the scent, she desired a mix of strange and familiar notes. "It is a fragrance that inspires happiness. The whole idea is to give energy, joy and mystery — but not on the dark side."
Alien's bottle was fashioned to resemble a faceted amethyst. It is purple with the scent's name engraved in what looks like ancient typeface on the back. "It is a precious stone, full of symbolic spirit," said Strubi. Gold touches on the flacon are reminiscent of bevels on jewelry. The scent's outer packaging harkens back to that of Angel."We hope to make another classic," said Strubi, referring to that scent that tops the fragrance charts worldwide, including France, where it is the perennial favorite.
While Mugler executives would not discuss first-year sales estimates for Alien, industry sources project the scent will generate at least $25 million in wholesale volume worldwide for the first 12 months on counter.
Roughly $3 million to $5 million of that wholesale volume could be done in the U.S., according to industry sources.
Benjamin Gillikin, president of the Clarins Fragrance Group in the U.S., declined to comment on the estimate. But he said the fragrance will be launched in the U.S. in a tight distribution network of about 100 specialty store doors of Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's. That's fewer than the Mugler universe of 450 doors, he added, indicating that more doors will be gradually filled in, beginning early next year.
The promotional attack will be precise, consisting of scented strips in store catalogues and scented pieces mailed to consumers by individual doors. Gillikin said his goal is to "attract new consumers."
The Alien line is to include a 60-ml. refillable eau de parfum spray for $111 at current exchange rates, or 89 euros; a 30-ml. refillable edp spray for $83, or 66 euros; a 30-ml. nonrefillable edp spray for $61, or 49 euros; a 10-ml. refillable purse spray for $84, or 67 euros; a 200-ml. shower gel for $39, or 31 euros; a 125-ml. bath oil for $54, or 43 euros, and a 200-ml. body cream for $64, or 51 euros. For the holidays, there will also be a 15-gram incense burner for $61, or 49 euros. Prices are for France.
"In terms of the concept, some will be shocked, while others will like it," said Strubi. "I think we will find a new clientele."
To help generate enthusiasm for Alien, an "Initiatic Space" has been opened in an old Thierry Mugler boutique on Paris' Avenue Montaigne. The location, which will remain open until mid-October, is meant to be a showcase where press, sales staff and consumers can learn about the fragrance.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)