For pop icon Fergie, 2011 is all about out with the old, in with the new.
The Black Eyed Peas front woman and Avon spokeswoman is gearing up to introduce her second fragrance, Outspoken Intense, a scent blended to capture the adrenaline she feels before stepping out on stage. “It’s about owning that moment,” said Fergie.
Just how does Fergie, a fireball of energy, amp up for the stage? “Green tea,” she told WWD. “When I’m getting ready for a performance, it’s very calm.…I like to exude everything that I have on the stage.” Referring to her fragrance, she said, “It’s really right before I go on [stage] that my heart starts beating faster. The adrenaline kicks in. That’s the feeling.”
Her first scent, Outspoken, shattered Avon records. “It was the single largest fragrance [launch] we’ve had in the company’s history,” said Andrea Jung, Avon Products Inc.’s chairman and chief executive officer. And the company expects the upcoming scent to unseat Outspoken as a bestseller. After all, Fergie is accustomed to breaking records, having shattered several on the Billboard charts.
“I love this scent,” said Fergie. “I’m actually starting to like it more than Outspoken. My mom does as well.”
Outspoken Intense, described as a fruity floral, was developed by International Flavors & Fragrances and is comprised, in part, of star fruit and kumquat. “My dad used to grow kumquats and peel them for me,” said Fergie. She also developed an affinity for star fruit while hotel-hopping on tour in Asia, where she was welcome with a plate of freshly sliced star fruit. “I love the fruity notes,” she said.
The fragrance will be available beginning in July for $30. A TV spot — featuring a cut from “Beautiful Dangerous,” Fergie’s collaboration with Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash —will air in select markets.
The ultrapetite songstress bounded into in small gathering of beauty editors on Wednesday with the same gusto and energy she exuded later in the day when strutting onto the stage at Madison Square Garden in front of 5,000 Avon direct-sales representatives, who leapt to their feet and hooted and hollered in excitement upon seeing her. The gathering marked the New York City stop of the company’s global 16-city “Avon Believe World Tour,” a yearlong celebration to fete Avon’s 125 years. The decibel of noise in the arena rose even higher when Jung pointed out that Fergie’s husband, actor Josh Duhamel, was sitting in the audience. (Duhamel also showed support for his wife during a photo shoot earlier that day by remarking, “She’s really good at this,” as she confidently moved from one pose to the next.)
Inside the arena, as representatives waved pom-poms, clapped and cheered, Fergie thanked the crowd for making Outspoken Avon’s best-selling scent. “You guys went out there and did the work. Thank you so much for kicking butt for me,” she said.
Fergie surprised Jung and the representatives present by singing a sultry, rocker-meets-Marilyn Monroe-esque “Happy Birthday” to Avon.
Before her onstage appearance, Fergie talked with WWD about her plans for the year ahead and how she’s attempting to nab some more downtown after spending most of 2010 on tour with the Black Eyed Peas. “They knew I needed a break and for it not to be so hectic, and they’ve been respectful of that.”
She’s using the extra time at home for a grand spring cleaning project.
“I’ve gotten to clean out some of my closets, which has been kind of an emotional letting go,” she said. “I just went through my tennis shoe collection, which was big. It was like saying good-bye to all my old friends.” Referring to her earlier days with the Black Eyed Peas, she said, “I had a little bit of a sneaker fetish, especially for Jordans. I didn’t get rid of any of my Air Jordans.” Scarfs and her coveted collection of heels were also part of her closet purge. “I’m kind of a Carrie Bradshaw in that way. ‘Hello lovers!,” she said, mimicking the “Sex and the City” character’s salutation to her shoes. “I really enjoy purging my closet because I’m finding pieces that I’d forgotten about. I’m going, ‘This is Gaultier. Why is this in the back of my closet folded up in a corner? It should be in the front row!’”
Once the clothes leave her closet, her mother, sister and cousins have first dibs, and sift through the pieces in a guest room that Fergie’s temporarily dubbed “The Purge Room.”
“There is a rule: Once it’s in the room I don’t get it back. I’ve already made the decision to let it go.”
She attributes her overflowing closets to being fearful that one day all the success and all the fame may go poof. “A lot of it has never been worn. I was just keeping it because when I was really little, I got clothes from the church. So for me it was about thinking it’s all going to end.…I had to really take myself out of that mentality.”
For a celebrity so candid about overcoming obstacles, especially addictions, she’s determined to move forward, including with this project.
“Now that I’m purging and my closet looks amazing, I’m splurging!”
On her wish list are fake fur coats from Anna Sui and Altuzarra’s neon belts. “I think people are ready to take the neon plunge, because I definitely am.”
And downtime is not all that common. Between promoting the Black Eyed Peas’ new album “The Beginning” and appearances at the Super Bowl and the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, Fergie is busy fronting her Avon fragrances and its Advance Techniques hair care range, and designing her shoe collection with Brown Shoe Co.
As for if she’d consider adding a fashion line to her creative endeavors, she said, “Possibly. You never know. It’s all about expression... I would need time to focus, because I get a little obsessed.”
Fergie’s connection goes beyond beauty with Avon, which has raised more than $800 million for women’s causes, including breast cancer research. The singer said her grandmother lost her battle with cancer two years ago, and her mother and father are cancer survivors.
Jung said that since Avon took on the breast cancer cause in 1992, representatives have sold 70 million pink ribbon products.
The atmosphere and energy in the arena, as well as Jung’s prowess at revving up the crowd, made the event seem more like a presidential nominating convention. Colorful lights swept across the stage, tear-jerking videos played, motivational speeches were given, Believe logos were prominently displayed and songs were belted as representatives cheered along.
Jung enthusiastically declared to the audience that Avon has more than $10 billion in annual revenue and is five times larger than its direct competitor, the Dallas-based Mary Kay, which elicited a thunder of applause from the audience. “They may hear you in Dallas,” said Jung. She noted that collectively Avon’s representatives earn about $4.8 billion, which is larger than some well-known global companies. She also hinted at upcoming products to drive up their average order sizes, including a skin care product that uses a “Fountain of Youth molecule,” and the mom and baby care line, Tiny Tillia. “Women spend two times more on their baby than they do on their beauty,” said Jung.
Both initiatives are slated for the fourth quarter.
Jung and Fergie spoke of Avon Voices, a global singing and songwriting contest tied to the company’s 125th anniversary celebration.
Fergie will help judge the competition. She reminded the crowd voting begins April 22 and said more than 6,000 videos have been sent in. “These singers are amazing. And I think I’m a pretty good judge — I hope.”
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)