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Nanette Lepore’s style is about to hit a runway of a different sort: specialty store fragrance counters.
This story first appeared in the August 14, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In September, the designer will launch her new fragrance, Nanette by Nanette Lepore.
“This is the grown-up Nanette Lepore fragrance,” said the designer during an interview in her Manhattan showroom. “My fashion has evolved over the years, and so have I. I wanted to create a fragrance which symbolizes my current design aesthetic. This fragrance is intended to be the signature Nanette Lepore scent — it’s the one I will still be putting on, over and over, next year and the year after that.”
Lepore worked with perfumer Anne Flipo of International Flavors & Fragrances to create the amber-tinged scent. It opens with top notes of spicy pink pepper, glazed rose petals and neroli, followed by a heart of rose absolute, violet and muguet, and a drydown of amber, incense and warm cedarwood. The touch of violet, said the designer, is a wink at her 11-year-old daughter’s name.
“Nanette’s creative process lends itself to fragrance very well,” said Ron Rolleston, executive vice president of global marketing for Elizabeth Arden, the company that holds Lepore’s scent license. “This scent is original, and there is a lot of attention to detail. We’re very optimistic about its prospects.”
The collection includes eaux de parfum in three sizes, a 0.25-oz. rollerball for $18.50 and 1-oz. and 2.5-oz. sprays, $48 and $68, respectively. A 3.4-oz. lotion, $40, also will be offered.
As might be expected from a designer, Lepore actually began designing the bottle — made of weighty lead crystal with a faceted cap — before beginning to develop the juice. “I saw a beautiful vintage fragrance bottle in an antique store in Florence,” said Lepore. “The shape, to me, captured the romance of being in Italy — and it inspired the whole project.” The textured outer box contains a surprise once opened: a signature Lepore pattern.
The scent will be available in about 650 specialty store doors, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sephora.
While Lepore and Rolleston declined to discuss sales figures and advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the scent would do about $5 million at retail in its first year on counter, and that about $1 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.
Advertising, shot by Poppy de Villeneuve, is breaking in November fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. The visual is of a pensive model in a floaty Lepore top. “It’s intended to be a personality caught in a private moment,” said Lepore.
As well, a significant online campaign — involving Style.com, Sugar Inc., Twitter and many other components — is planned, said Rolleston.
Despite the economic climate, Lepore is optimistic about fall business. “It’s a challenging time, but often out of challenge comes the best work,” she said. “With apparel, with fragrance — there’s not room for anything that isn’t special. It results in a better product offering.”