Shawn “Jay Z” Carter is on the verge of delivering his long-awaited first men’s fragrance, and it is already shaping up as not your everyday launch.
The scent, which he has dubbed Gold Jay Z, will make its debut at Barneys New York on Nov. 20 as part of his exercise in fashion collaboration with the store. That will be followed on Nov. 29, Black Friday, with the rollout of the distribution to 2,000 department stores, led by Macy’s, Sephora, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Belk, Bon-Ton and Ulta.
The superstar’s partnership with Barneys apparently is moving forward, despite calls for him to withdraw as part of a protest and controversy sparked by the questioning about possible alleged credit card fraud by New York City police officers of two black shoppers after they made expensive purchases in Barneys’ Madison Avenue flagship. An executive at Parlux Ltd., Carter’s fragrance licensee, quoted his organization on Thursday as saying the singer is currently involved in a world concert tour and is not available for comment. However, when the controversy related to Carter’s capsule men’s fashion collection with Barneys first broke, Carter posted a statement on his Facebook page saying that the project was designed to raise money to help those facing socioeconomic hardships. Carter said then that he was waiting to learn the facts and the outcome of a meeting between Barneys and community leaders. Meanwhile, Mark Lee, chief executive officer of Barneys, has said no store employee had taken issue with the purchases and that Barneys is collaborating with community leaders and the broader retail community to find solutions to larger issues raised by the controversy.
As for the launch, the promotional campaign is in tune with the current zeitgeist. It will be driven by a combination of digital and outdoor advertising, instead of the traditional magazine print campaign. There will be ads on fashion magazine Web sites like GQ.com and platforms like Facebook, Yahoo Sports, the Spotify music site and ESPN.com. The bottle and Jay Z’s face promise to be inescapable, with ads plastered on billboards around the country, bus shelters and a variety of display venues inside malls.
Macy’s has taken the unusual step of giving the launch two sets of visual weeks — before and after Christmas. The displays go into the windows on 34th Street, near the entrance to the men’s department, for the first time on Nov. 25, then return the week starting Jan. 8. One of the large windows will contain a visual interactive feature. When a passerby stands in front of the glass, the window is designed to reflect the image of a golden avatar of the person on the street. Inside the store, a 15-second video will be running on-counter showing an image of Jay Z, morphing into gold neck chain, then cap — inscribed with his words to live by — and a fragrance bottle. It also will be broadcast online. During Thanksgiving weekend, an army of rotators will be dispatched to hand out samples in front of Broadway theaters. Contests will be run online for concert tickets.
“We are going to make a big noise,” said Donald J. Loftus, president of Parlux Ltd. and executive vice president of Perfumania Inc. “For the 30 days before Christmas, it will be impossible not to know he has a fragrance.”
Loftus said Carter “stressed that he didn’t want to do what had been done before.” That included sticking to the traditional August-to-October launch window. Carter also rejected 3,200 possible fragrance names that were submitted to him. Finally, he picked up the bottle, declaring, ‘‘This is the s--t; it’s gold,’” Loftus said.
The fragrance is a white fougère created by Ilias Ermenidis of Firmenich. Although the concentration of the juice was amped up to more than 18 percent, as part of a strategy to convey superior quality, the concentration is described as an eau de toilette, because the more accurate eau de parfum was deemed to be not masculine enough.
Price points for the juices range from $39 for the 30-ml. size, $55 for 50 ml. and $70 for 90 ml. There also will be an aftershave pour in a translucent bottle, a deodorant and a shower gel.
Loftus said the company decided to invest its money in the quality of the product, rather than compete with traditional and expensive advertising. Parlux declined to provide a sales projection, but industry sources estimate that in the U.S. alone, the fragrance could generate $20 million in retail sales for the last two months of this fiscal year and for next year provide an additional $35 million.
In addition, an international rollout is being planned. Diana Espino, global vice president of marketing and brand development, said the fragrance will be launched in Canada in January and the spring rollout lineup so far includes Germany, Mexico, Northern Scandinavia, the U.K., Australia and travel retail.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion