Despite winning “American Idol,” starring on Broadway and launching two albums, Jordin Sparks, who will release her first fragrance next week, remains practical when it comes to spending money.
“When I was starting this project, I really wanted it to be affordable,” she said in an exclusive interview with WWD. “I looked at some other celebrity fragrances, and they were like $80. Even now, I look at a fragrance that’s $80, and I can’t bring myself to spend that much.”
Sparks’ scent, Because of You, will be introduced at $9.50 for a 2.5-oz. bottle. The price will rise to $14.95 on Nov. 1.
“In this economy especially, my fans deserve a high-quality, reasonably priced scent,” she said. In fact, said Sparks, her fans are also the impetus behind the scent’s name. “My fans are the reason that I get to do any of this,” she said of the fragrance, her current role in Broadway’s “In the Heights” and the fashion line she did with Wet Seal, to name a few.
While Sparks hopes to eventually do color cosmetics and skin care, she wanted to start with scent. “I love wearing fragrance,” she said, noting that Angel and Flowerbomb — in addition to her own scent — are two favorites.
The fruity floriental Because of You, concocted by Belmay Fragrances, has top notes of clementine, white imperial currant and orange blossom; a heart of nectarine, sharry baby orchid and coral charm peony, and a drydown of sheer musks, vanilla bean, Baltic amber and blond woods. “I wanted it to transfer easily from day to night,” Sparks said, “so we needed a little darkness [from the musks and amber] in there. It starts out as a day fragrance and then becomes a night fragrance.”
The graphic design on the carton, inspired by Sparks’ music, features an abstract music sheet incorporating overlaying musical notes in warm and sensual colors.
Because of You will launch first at Dots, a fast-fashion, women’s specialty apparel and accessories store, with 400 stores in 26 states. “Jordin is a great fit for us,” said Vincent Butta, chief marketing officer of Dots. “We are a company which appeals to a specific demographic — those who love fast fashion, pop culture and reasonable price points. Like Jordin, we are wholesome, but current in pop culture.” And Sparks’ high profile will also aid in raising recognition for the retailer, believes Butta. “We think it’s a great way to connect our brand and get attention without using dollars on traditional marketing,” he said. “Also, as we are aggressively expanding, people will also know our name when we come to their town.”
Dots will also sell the scent on its Web site, dots.com, marking the first time the retailer has dipped its toe into e-commerce. “Right now, the site is really more of an entertainment vehicle,” said Butta. “That will change with this fragrance.”
It will be exclusive to Dots throughout the month of October, and is expected to roll out into about 10,000 additional mass market doors, including Target, in early November. By yearend 2011, the scent will be available in about 25,000 mass market doors, said Herman Friedman, chief executive officer of Apra, the mass market fragrance and beauty company launching the scent. He noted that promotion for the fragrance will primarily be through social media, including Facebook and Twitter. In-store signage and messaging is also planned. While executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that Because of You would do about $10 million at retail in its first year on counter.
Sparks, who noted that she performed in her high school drama club and in local theater in her hometown of Phoenix, is finding Broadway to be an entirely different world. “Being on Broadway has been a learning experience,” she said. “It’s harder than I thought. On my [music] tour, I’m just up there as myself. Here, I’m up there being a different character and telling her story. Every night it’s different, because every night I am different.”
“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