For fragrance companies, it could be a merry Christmas indeed: the market could be up 5 to 7 percent for the year when factoring in holiday sales, noted Carrie M. Mellage, director of consumer products for Kline Group, the consulting and research firm.
Mellage was speaking at the Fragrance Foundation’s annual State of the Industry lunch, held Thursday at the Harvard Club in Manhattan. “In 2011, fragrance growth exceeded the industry average for the first time in a decade,” she added, noting that fragrance comprises about 9 percent of the overall personal care market, estimated to be about $56 billion for 2011. However, “the U.S. overall beauty market has surpassed prerecession levels, but the fragrance market has not — yet,” she said. Overall U.S. fragrance sales peaked in 2007 at $5.9 billion and dipped to $5.2 billion in 2008, staying flat until this year. Retail fragrance sales are expected to hit $5.5 billion this year in the U.S. Kline attributes the growth to a number of factors, including “frugal fatigue,” interesting new launches and a boom in foreign tourism.
There have also been an avalanche of launches of late. Michael Edwards of Fragrancesoftheworld.info, a database of the fragrance world, noted that, year-to-date, 1,200 new fragrances have been launched in 2011, with 80 percent of them sold in the U.S. That was compared to 1,180 launched in 2010; 372 in 2001, and just 76 in 1991. Of the fragrances launched in 2011, 766 of them were women’s scents, 305 were men’s and 129 were unisex. While there were no limited edition scents and just three flankers launched in 1991, in 2001 there were 32 limited edition scents launched and 52 flankers. Those numbers skyrocketed to 144 limited edition scents and 188 flankers in 2011.
And while many observers are fond of taking potshots at the celebrity fragrance genre, Edwards said that its popularity showed no signs of abating, with 73 celebrity scents launched this year. Also speaking at the lunch were Wendy Liebmann, chief executive officer of WSL Strategic Retail, who noted that the economy has forced women to be smarter shoppers and employ frugal tactics, and Lynn Franco of the Conference Board, who noted that market trends such as weak job growth and cautious spending do not bode well for a major recovery of the market in the near future. The affluent and shoppers between the ages of 35 and 54 are expected to be the biggest beauty spenders for the holiday season, she said.
“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