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Niche fragrance marketer Bond No. 9 is going back to Andy Warhol’s pre-Pop years in New York with Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue, the third scent in the brand’s Warhol-inspired fragrance collection.
This story first appeared in the July 21, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The scent is named for the location of one of Warhol’s first apartments — at 242 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood — and its bottle features a collage of colorful, high-heeled shoes, graphics that were inspired by the shoe ads he sketched early in his career.
The fragrance will be launched next month, when the artist would have turned 80 years old.
“We wanted to go back to Warhol’s beginnings for his birthday, so we looked at the sketches he did when he first got started,” said Bond No. 9 founder and chief executive officer Laurice Rahme. “It made sense to link shoes and fragrance together, since both are two accessories women care most about. Shoes are like fragrance. It’s very personal yet feminine and fun.”
Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue will be launched in the U.S. at Bond No. 9 boutiques, Saks Fifth Avenue and museum gift shops. The fragrance will be rolled out a month later to 20 markets, including the U.K., where it will be carried by such retailers as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
The scent, an eau de parfum, is described as a floral-woody chypre. It was blended by Claude Dir of Givaudan and is composed of top notes of blue cypress, fennel and cardamom; middle notes of pink peony, Florentine orris, creme brulee and pimento berry, and base notes of patchouli and sandalwood.
The fragrance will be available in two sizes, a 100-ml. bottle for $195, and a 50-ml. size for $135.
For holiday, Bond No. 9 will introduce an Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue limited edition set in a fiberglass shoe, which will feature three 50-ml. pure perfumes in white, fuchsia and lavender bottles. The shoe set will be introduced in November and will retail for $1,100.
As it did for its second Andy Warhol fragrance, called Union Square, Bond No. 9 will again partner with Warhol jewelry licensee Robert Lee Morris, who will create 400 limited edition sterling silver necklaces featuring four shoe pendants, also inspired by Warhol’s shoe sketches. Pendants will feature an engraving of a Warhol quote that reads: “Beauty is shoe, shoe beauty,” as well as the Bond No. 9 logo. Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue bottles that come with the necklace will retail for $575.
According to industry sources, Lexington Avenue could generate up to $3 million in first-year wholesale sales volume.
A print ad campaign for the scent is scheduled to appear in September issues of W, Interview and The New York Times. The visual was photographed by Duane Michals in 1958 at Warhol’s 242 Lexington Avenue home.