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Prada Sets Sail With Luna Rossa Fragrance

The men's scent gleans inspiration from the fashion brand’s sailboat of the same name that competes in major professional races.

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PARIS — Prada’s newest men’s scent, Luna Rossa, gleans inspiration from the fashion brand’s sailboat of the same name that competes in major professional races, such as the America’s Cup.

This story first appeared in the August 10, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“It’s not a typical sport fragrance,” said José Manuel Albesa, chief brand officer at Puig, Prada’s fragrance licensee. He explained Luna Rossa is an authentic, long-standing part of the brand’s universe. “It is very linked to technological excellence.”

The project was developed under the close guidance of designer Miuccia Prada.

The moment was right for a new Prada men’s scent after the success of the brand’s Candy fragrance for women, which is performing “very well,” said Albesa. “It was then time to bring something new to the men’s arena.”

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Company executives would not discuss revenue projections, but industry sources estimate the fragrance will generate $100 million in first-year retail sales.

Luna Rossa — which joins other Prada men’s scents including Infusion d’Homme and Prada Pour Homme — is meant to target dynamic and daring guys.

“In the previous fragrances, we were more concentrated on the traditional side of the brand,” said Albesa, adding that with Prada Luna Rossa, it’s about its innovative, extreme and technological aspects.

Givaudan perfumer Daniela Andrier worked on the olfactive creation that is not a conventional interpretation of a marine scent, according to Albesa.

“It’s something much more complex and interesting, because the fragrance’s key note is lavender,” he continued. “It’s not something used very often in this kind of [scent].”

Albesa said for the fragrance, Andrier used some traditional ingredients in a modern way. Luna Rossa also includes essences of bitter orange, clary sage, spearmint nanah, plus ambroxan and ambrette absolute.

“Overall, it’s a paradox of synthetic and natural ingredients,” said Albesa.

He explained for Luna Rossa’s bottle, “We were looking for something very technological, sleek and dynamic, which was [inspired by] the beauty of extreme sailing boats.”

The brand signed on designer Yves Behar, who had never before worked on a fragrance flacon.

Director Adam Berg created Luna Rossa’s film advertisement, which stars the boat’s real crew members in a high-adrenaline situation on the catamaran.

“We used revolutionary camera technology to capture the thrills of extreme sailing,” said Albesa, adding three high-speed phantom cameras moved freely along with more than 80 other cameras. “We captured this moment of tension, this fight with the man and the sea.”

The spot — including hyper-real, frozen moments — will primarily come in 20- and 30-second versions destined mostly for TV.

For the print ad, David Sims photographed Luna Rossa’s bowman and trimmer Nick Hutton. It comes in single and double pages and special formats.

Luna Rossa’s launch will include an introduction in most of Western Europe’s domestic and travel retail channels in September, followed by Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Asia-Pacific region in October and November. Luna Rossa is set to make its North American debut in March 2013.

In France at launch, the line will include 50- and 100-ml. eau de toilette sprays, which are to retail for 60 euros, or $73.90 at current exchange, and 80 euros, or $98.50. Ancillaries include an aftershave lotion, shower gel and deodorant.

A 150-ml. edt spray will be introduced in mid-November for 100 euros, or $123.15.

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