NEW YORK — There’s a sporty new man headed for Ermenegildo Zegna territory.
The dapper Italian men’s brand will, along with fragrance licensee YSL Beauté, introduce Z Zegna, the house’s second fragrance, later this spring.
YSL Beauté made a conscious decision to echo the name of Z Zegna, the house’s edgier apparel and accessories line, given how well the fashion and fragrance complement each other, said James Ragsdale, senior vice president, designer brands, for YSL Beauté.
“The name of our new fragrance is not very original — we stole it from the fashion house,” admitted Ragsdale, who joined Maggie Ciafardini, chief executive officer and managing director of YSL Beauté’s U.S. business, and Alessandro Sartori, Z Zegna’s creative director, for a party showing off the fragrance at the Museum of Modern Art here Tuesday night.
But that’s just fine by the apparel line’s executives. “Z Zegna is a great opportunity to extend the brand, but still embrace its style and quality,” said Sartori. “In working with YSL, we wanted to provide another, updated scent for the Zegna consumer. It is a complement to the fashion.”
The first Zegna fragrance, Essenza di Zegna, was launched globally in the spring of 2003 in a selective distribution. Ragsdale described the original as “classic and traditional, while Z Zegna is sporty, modern and younger in spirit. The Essenza man is distinguished and buttoned-up; the Z Zegna man doesn’t take himself too seriously.”
That lighthearted feeling is reflected in the scent, produced by a troika of Givaudan perfumers: Pierre Negrin, Antoine Lie and Olivier Gillotin. It has top notes of Sicilian bergamot, rosemary, mirabelle plum, red currant and casoar, a blueberry from New Guinea; a heart of powdery iris, nutmeg and white pepper, and a drydown of cashmere wood, tart patchouli and oakmoss.
The Z Zegna collection will consist of eaux de toilette in two sizes, 1.6 oz. for $40 and 3.3 oz. for $57; a 3.3-oz. aftershave lotion, $38; a 3.3-oz. aftershave balm, $36; a 6.6-oz. hair and body wash, $20, and a 2.6-oz. alcohol-free deodorant stick, $16.The fragrance’s sleek glass bottle, designed by Partisan Du Sens, is banded with a black rubber belt imprinted with the Z logo that is the hallmark of the apparel brand, and has a grooved silver-tone cap. The juice inside is tinted a soft steel blue.
The Z Zegna scent line will launch first in Italy, Spain and Portugal, in mid-March. It will hit the U.S. and most other global markets on April 1, followed by an April 15 debut in France. Total global doors for the scent will number 9,000, with 1,000 of those department and specialty store doors in the U.S. These numbers are 50 percent greater than the first scent’s doors — 6,000 globally with 600 of that tally in the U.S.
While executives would not comment on projected sales targets, industry sources estimate that Z Zegna could do $30 million to $35 million globally in its first year, as compared with Essenza di Zegna’s estimated $20 million at retail globally. Z Zegna’s bigger payday is expected to come not only from the scent’s additional doors, but also from its sportier, more accessible positioning in the market.
National advertising, shot by Jacques Olivar, will be produced in single and double-page spreads with scented strips, said Ciafardini. The visual features model Guillaume Gabriel reclining on a Ducati motorcycle, with an inset of the bottle. In the U.S., advertising will break in the April issue of GQ; placements will follow later in at least three other publications, still to be determined, she added. About 15 million to 20 million scented impressions are planned for the U.S. Advertising is planned in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Germany, among others.
As well, the brand is experimenting with some nontraditional marketing on this launch — including an Internet awareness blitz.
“This is a line which lends itself to innovative marketing techniques,” said Ragsdale. As well as giveaways: In selected global markets, the brand has partnered with Ducati to provide its bikes for display and giveaways. On the apparel side, the house has partnered with young celebrities whom it believes embody the brand’s ideals, such as Adrien Brody and Diego Luna.
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