NEW YORK — Launching a fragrance with a load of fanfare is standard procedure, but how many products bow onto the market accompanied by a song penned solely for their creation? Antidote, Viktor & Rolf’s first men’s fragrance, may be the only one, say designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren.
The ode to Antidote was written by superstar Rufus Wainwright. L’Oréal, the fragrance licensee for Viktor & Rolf, played the song at Carnegie Hall, no less, during a lavish after party upstairs Thursday evening after Wainwright put on a two-and-a-half-hour show that reprised the famed 1961 concert by Judy Garland. The Antidote song will be included in future promotional campaigns for the fragrance. Horsting and Snoeren had designed the costumes for Wainwright’s concert.
Wainwright — who also invited his mother, folkie Kate McGarrigle, and his singer sister, Martha Wainwright, on stage during the Thursday-evening performance — was clear about how the partnership with the design duo came about: “We enjoy each other’s work —and we’re all brilliant!” Wainwright said with a laugh.
Ladan Lari, international managing director of Viktor & Rolf Fragrances, observed,“It’s the first fragrance that has its own soundtrack.”
Both Wainwrights and McGarrigle attended the after party, which doubled as a launch event, thrown by the quirky designers after the concert; the even even drew professional rivals: “The show was absolutely amazing!” said Marc Jacobs, one of the first to arrive at the after party.
Horsting and Snoeren noted that they met Wainwright — a longtime Viktor & Rolf fan — at a shoot last year and have stayed in touch. “We’ve even got him previewing our upcoming collections,” said Snoeren, noting that a white ruffled shirt and a star-covered shirt worn by the singer Thursday night were among the pieces from future lines.
And now that the designers have both a men’s fragrance and a successful women’s fragrance, last year’s Flowerbomb, they have even grander plans. “We’d love to do a color cosmetics collection,” said Horsting. Luckily, Serge Jureidini, the incoming president of L’Oréal’s Designer Fragrances division in the U.S, was nearby. When asked if he would eventually launch a color line for the designers, he responded, “We hope so. With Viktor & Rolf, the sky’s the limit.”