Given its Greta Garbo-like founding designer, Maison Martin Margiela’s first perfume, to be unveiled in Paris in October, is a subject of great curiosity and mystery, sure to prompt L’Oréal to take some new steps — clad in Margiela’s signature cleft-toed boots, perhaps? — in designer fragrance marketing.
“We are trying to do a real Margiela project,” says Giovanni Pungetti, Margiela’s chief executive officer, dressed in a rough-hewn leather jacket, faded jeans and white, vintage-looking sneakers that are among the Belgian designer’s signatures. For example, while there will surely be advertising — a first foray for the 20-year-old brand, Pungetti assures, “We won’t have a billboard in Times Square or Piccadilly Circus.”
Nor will the scent be based on patchouli, an earthy and heavy fragrance that has been wafting through Margiela’s unconventional, all-white boutiques since the mid-Nineties. “It would be too obvious,” he sniffs. The executive declines to give many details, but says the fragrance, an eau de toilette for women, is “not something in line with trends, which is very Margiela.” Indeed, the brand’s quirky and clever fashions range from vintage to futuristic, from rustic to synthetic, suggesting the fragrance could come from anywhere left field — albeit not too far. Fabien Baron, a close ally of L’Oréal, designed the bottle, in concert with Margiela’s creative team.
“We want it to be a very selective project, even if the business plan is ambitious,” Pungetti says. “Of course, we can’t do something too extreme.”
At the time of the interview, L’Oréal and Margiela were still defining the promotional effort behind the scent, due on counters in February or March, recognizing that traditional approaches wouldn’t work for a brand whose fashion-show invitation last season resembled a scratch-and-win lottery ticket, and whose idea of a holiday present ranges from all-white dice to a wishbone, painted white.
Next up will be a men’s fragrance, possibly as early as 2011, depending on market conditions and reaction to the women’s scent.
Margiela’s fashion business, controlled by Italian industrialist Renzo Rosso since 2002, has been on a strong growth track, having expanded its retail network and introduced an array of new product lines, from leather goods and eyewear to fine jewelry and men’s suits. Last year, revenues rose around 20 percent to 70 million euros, or $103 million at average exchange.
The house’s elusive founder and creative director recently reduced his day-to-day involvement in the business, but remains closely involved in the fragrance project, Pungetti says.
Pungetti credited the late Patricia Turck-Paquelier, international brand president of L’Oréal’s Prestige & Collection International division, for spearheading the project and articulating the brand essence within the conglomerate. “We are challenged to do something never done before,” she told WWD at the time the deal was struck. “The DNA of Martin Margiela is intimate and personal.
“The best tribute we could give to her is to be successful,” Pungetti says.
To be sure, the fragrance will bring an off-the-mainstream brand to the attention of a wider public. “There’s a lot of intelligent people in the world who don’t know us yet,” he says. “I love the idea of opening this little door.”
Donatella Versace will receive the International Award at the 2018 @cfda awards, which were announced tonight. Tap link in bio for a list of all the nominees and honorees. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @rahirezvanistudio )
The 2018 @cfda Awards nominees are out! @virgilabloh for @off____white for is nominated for Womenswear Designer of the Year. Tap link in bio for all the nominees. #wwdnews #wwdfashion ( 📷: @simonelezzi)
@chanelofficial is suing high-end vintage retailer @whatgoesaroundnyc for trademark infringement, a move that could cost the retailer millions. The French fashion house claims that it’s not only unintentionally sold counterfeit goods on occasion, but that it’s “gone out of its way to create an association with Chanel,” which does not exist. Read Chanel’s statement on WWD.com #wwdnews (@aitorrosasphoto)
Exclusive: Guillaume Henry has left @ninaricci, the fashion house said on Thursday. “After three years of mutually gratifying creative collaboration, Nina Ricci and Guillaume Henry have together decided that the designer will depart the house after the presentation of the fall-winter 2018-19 collection,” Ricci said in a statement. Get all the details on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“When Bella enters a room all heads turn,” said @peterphilipsmakeup, creative and image director for @diormakeup. Last night, the two celebrated the product launch of Dior’s Lacquer Plump in Los Angeles with other celebs like @parisjackson, @winnieharlow and more. Head to WWD.com to see the rest of the photos from the night (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
“These shirts are an art form, it’s about getting the message out to as many people as you can. It breaks down the pretentiousness of the art gallery,” says Kumasi Sadiki, cofounder of @ebayontheblock, a store that sells merchandise by New York artists who are shifting their attention to clothes as a wearable medium. Pictured here is a design by artist @joegarvey_, one of the first to spearhead this movement. Head to WWD.com to read @mistywhitesidell full story on how their designs have become merch for the underground elite #wwdfashion
@netaporter is dedicating a part of its website – called the Fine Jewelry and Watch Destination – to highlight its high-end jewelry. The hub will feature products on the site, as well as incorporate styling advice and educational content about high-priced jewelry items. Get more details on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories
For “The Cher Show,” an upcoming musical based on @cher’s life and career, @bobmackie is once again collaborating with the singer in designing the costumes. For decades, Mackie has designed glitzy stage costumes and red carpet looks for the 71-year-old Grammy winner. Pictured here is a sketch of some of the pieces in the wardrobe of the musical, which is set to debut in Chicago on June 12 before making its way to Broadway #wwdeye