Over the course of his distinguished career, Givaudan senior perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux has handled some pretty strange requests, but nothing quite as strange as Barry Alford’s: to create a fragrance reminiscent of surgical bone cement for the brand Alford & Hoff.“I really like industrial smells. I like WD-40, and I like Scotch tape. I even like the smell of gasoline,” explained Alford, who works selling medical devices at the same time as he’s building Alford & Hoff. “I talked to Rodrigo about incorporating industrial scents and tapping into the medical device industry to duplicate the bone cement I have experienced in the operating room. It has a hint of acrylic like you’d smell at a nail salon, but softer.”Flabbergasted about how to execute upon Alford’s crazy concept — “I really had to use my imagination,” Flores-Roux said — vetivert came to mind. “To me, it's shiny, smooth, masculine and has a physical edge, a perfumed scalpel of sorts. The metallic glimmer had to be geranium, cool, even cold [and] also healthily squeaky clean,” he reasoned. Ultimately, the fragrance — Alford & Hoff’s third that’s simply called No. 3 — would go on to include a trio of refined vetivert extracts.Adding a more unfamiliar element to the fragrance, Flores-Roux then turned to the ingredient Rosyrane. Describing it as “an unexpected, rusty, steely mini monster,” he said Rosyrane is a “rarely used synthetic raw material [that’s] secretive, shunned by perfumers as it’s deemed too strange, too uncomfortable, too alien, just like a blade.” In other words, it was perfect to realize Alford’s envelope-pushing vision.It sounds outlandish, but the resulting men's fragrance, which contains notes of rhubarb, absinthe, black leather, Guaiac wood, Virginian cedar wood, Angelica root, geranium, Jamaican nutmeg, Kadota fig and clary sage as well as vetivert and Rosyrane, isn’t as out there as would be presumed. Alford labeled it Alford & Hoff’s “everyday sexy fragrance” that injects a different dimension into the brand’s assortment, contrasting its initial special-occasion scent and the sporty sophomore effort. Flores-Roux said No. 3 “ushers in a new masculinity anchored in the idea of sharp edges bringing enormous ease, pleasure and comfort.”No. 3 is currently rolling out to Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom doors as well as the retailers' web sites. It’s priced at $100 for a 3.4-oz. eau de toilette and is packaged in a translucent black bottle topped with a hematite-colored cap. Industry sources estimate the fragrance will generate $5 million in first-year retail sales.As the inspiration for No. 3 illustrates, Alford & Hoff is determined to make a statement at fragrance counters. “I hate when someone says this smells like something else. When people spray our fragrance, they say it doesn’t smell like anything else, and that’s the best compliment,” said Alford. “The fragrance market is so flooded with sameness, and we are trying to separate ourselves.”The brand, started nine years ago by former Arizona State University football teammates Alford and Jefferson Hoffman, has branched beyond fragrance into accessories that could account for 10 percent of its business this year. No matter the product, Alford & Hoff sets out to appeal to confident men not willing to throw just anything on their bodies. “He’s an accomplished businessman. He has an understanding of who he is and taking care of himself, and is attuned to the athlete inside,” said Alford of the customer for his brand. “He’s looking for something different.”
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.