Donna Karan is making an aggressive foray into men’s fragrance with the launch for spring of DKNY Men, the brand’s first stand-alone men’s scent.
And, in a twist regarding the advertising campaign for the scent’s late February-early March launch, DKNY is pulling off a model redux — Mark Vanderloo, 39, who represented DKNY men’s fashion in the Nineties, will front DKNY Men in the ad effort.
“My design approach has always been about the senses,” stated Donna Karan. “DKNY Men is all about the man and the city. It takes a certain kind of guy to live and thrive in New York [and] I wanted a scent to speak to his unique style and strength. That is why we chose Mark Vanderloo to represent both DKNY fashion and fragrance. He embodies the DKNY Man.”
Said Mark Weber, chairman and chief executive officer of Donna Karan International, “We’ve built a loyal following among young urban men with success in men’s clothing, furnishings, sportswear and jeans. Fragrance is a natural extension, completing the picture as a lifestyle and as a business.” He added, “The DKNY fragrance franchise ranks top 10 in key markets around the world, so there is room for growth and unlimited potential.
“By positioning DKNY Men as a stand-alone men’s scent,” he continued, “we are telling our customer that our male consumer is important to us and that growing the DKNY men’s fragrance business is a priority.”
Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, president of Aramis and Designer Fragrances, a division of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., added, “We were looking for a pure masculine play for DKNY, not to link it to women’s and not to link it to a masterbrand,” she said. She alluded to the fragrance brand’s modest men’s business, which includes a men’s scent within the Be Delicious collection. “[DKNY Men] gives us the opportunity to expand our wings in the men’s fragrance arena,” she added. “We’ve built a successful women’s side and want to translate this into the men’s area.”
While executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate that globally DKNY Men could generate some $60 million to $70 million in first-year retail sales volume, or about $15 million to $17.5 million in the U.S.
Those sources added that more than $10 million would be spent to support the advertising and promotional campaign featuring Vanderloo. The national print campaign, which will include single pages, spreads and scented strips, is slated to appear in the March issues of Details, GQ, Vanity Fair, Men’s Health, Out and Wired.
It prominently features the Empire State and FlatIron buildings and as part of the promotional campaign, personal appearances by Vanderloo are possible.
Laird + Partners worked with Aramis and Designer Fragrances to finalize the ad campaign, which was photographed by Mikael Jansson. Television spots are possible for the U.S. in the fall.
DKNY Men, a citrus, floral, woody scent, will be available in 3.4- 1.7- and 1-oz. versions for $65, $50 and $35, respectively. Lauder worked in collaboration with Alberto Morillas and Harry Fremont of Firmenich for more than a year to compose the scent, which includes notes of bergamot, mandarin, juniper and clary sage. The spicy heart of the fragrance has notes of white pepper, cardamom, violet leaves and wet jasmine, while the scent’s drydown releases notes of sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, orris and vetiver.
The DKNY Men project “gave us the chance to build from the ground up what would resonate with men, and the soul, power and sophistication of New York — the energy it evokes,” said Trudi Loren, vice president of corporate fragrance development worldwide for Lauder.
The bottle, which has a diamond shape when viewed from above, was designed to be a “reflection of the glass and steel of the city — the architecture of the buildings,” noted Gabai-Pinsky. (Think New York’s original skyscraper.) The cap is comprised of etched steel to be reminiscent of the austere sidewalks and metal of city streets. Outer packaging features an iconic shot of the Empire State Building.
The scent is intended to appeal mostly to guys ages 25 to 45 and will be carried in 2,200 U.S. doors, which represents the full distribution of DKNY scents. Retail outlets will include Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Belk, Gottschalks and Boscov’s locations.
“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