Agent Provocateur had a clear vision when crafting its eighth scent, Fatale.
“We [were inspired by] a woman like Kim Basinger in [the film] ‘9 1/2 Weeks,’” said Sarah Shotton, creative director of Agent Provocateur. “She’s really girly and sexy, yet very soft. She’s also enticing, but with a bit of an edge.”
On Thursday, the lingerie brand will house its newest scent in a 370-square-foot Agent Provocateur boutique within Saks Fifth Avenue. The permanent shop, which opens today, has a Seventies inspiration with a nod to Art Deco design. It will also include Agent Provocateur’s newest lingerie collection, swimwear and hosiery. Additionally, the scent will also be carried on the Saks’ fragrance floor.
“A lot of things are changing at Saks,” said Garry Hogarth, chief executive officer of Agent Provocateur. “We worked very closely with Marigay McKee over at Harrods for a long time. [To launch at Saks] was a very obvious choice for us.”
Things could be changing at Agent Provocateur, too. The company is set to undergo a strategic review that could result in a sale. The company’s owner and private equity investor, 3i, which has owned the company since 1997, has been talking to banks including Goldman Sachs and Rothschild about conducting a review of the British brand that could see it sold for upward of $340 million, according to an industry source. No bank has been handed a mandate yet, and reportedly 3i is considering all options — not just a sale — and nothing will happen until 2015 at the earliest. Another source said it is routine for 3i to be exploring its options after a seven-year investment, which is long by industry standards.
For Fatale, Agent Provocateur, whose licensee is Inter Parfums, worked with Jean-Marc Chaillan of International Flavors & Fragrances. The scent, described as an oriental floral, opens with top notes of Madagascar pink pepper, succulent mango nectar and exotic blackcurrant over a heart velvet gardenia, royal orris absolute and Indonesian patchouli, and a drydown of sultry skin musk, vanilla orchid aphrodisiac, chocolate gourmand addiction and Spanish labdanum.
The square-shaped, clear flacon consists of sharp angles and edges to represent the many facets of a woman. The shiny black cap is showcased in a crystal casing.
“[Fragrance has] always been very strong in Europe [for Agent Provocateur],” said Andy Clarke, president of Inter Parfums. “We’re really targeting where their strength is. [But] we think the U.S. is a strong foundation for growth.”
Hogarth added that the company will be exploring more retail openings toward the end of this year in Las Vegas, Dallas and possibly a few other East Coast locations.
Fatale comes in 30-, 50- and 100-ml. spray versions, which are to retail for $52, $72 and $95.
The fragrance will be carried exclusively at 37 Saks doors for six months. Also, the brand will have four show windows for the launch, one for the fragrance and three for fashion.
To kick off the launch, Spanish actress and dancer Mónica Cruz, as the fragrance’s spokesperson, will be at Saks on Sept. 3.
The print campaign was shot by Tim Pope and features Cruz swinging from a chain clad in Agent Provocateur’s Whitney lingerie collection. The visuals will be in the windows of Saks and in-store. Also, they will appear in Agent Provocateur’s boutiques and will be advertised in The New York Times this month.
Inter Parfums executives would not discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate Fatale will generate $30 million in first-year retail sales globally.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast