Ralph Lauren is riding back into the women’s fragrance arena with the Big Pony Collection for Women, scheduled for an April launch after a two-week exclusive at Bloomingdale’s this month.
This story first appeared in the March 16, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“With this launch, we bring to young women an appealing message: Live life in color by expressing every vibrant side of you,” said Marc Rey, president of International Designer Collections at L’Oréal USA. “The Big Pony Collection for Women is a bouquet of exciting fragrances for the iPod generation.”
The quartet of fragrances — which complements the existing Big Pony Collection for Men, as well as the six-year-old Big Pony apparel lineup — is intended to appeal to women’s many facets, said Guillaume de Lesquen, president of Ralph Lauren Fragrances Worldwide. “The Big Pony Collection for Women empowers a woman to express all her different sides and convey the whole story of who she is. This means identifying the four key attributes of a modern woman’s femininity — sporty, sensual, free-spirited and stylish.” It is also a key opportunity to bring in the 18- to 24-year-old consumer, he said, adding that “We believe this collection will appeal to women of all ages as well.”
Fragrance number one is a sporty floral citrus, with blue lotus and grapefruit notes serving as the signature. Created by Bruno Jovanovic of International Flavors & Fragrances, it has top notes of grapefruit and honeydew, a heart of blue lotus and dewy jasmine and a base of cedarwood and musk.
Scent number two, intended to be the sensual offering, is a floriental fruity juice with a cranberry and tonka mousse signature. Concocted by Honorine Blanc of Firmenich, it has top notes of grapefruit, mandarin, guava and water lily, a heart of lily of the valley, magnolia and honeysuckle, and a drydown of sandalwood, vanilla extract, marshmallow and musk.
The collection’s number three scent is intended to be free-spirited, with a signature of pear and mimosa. The floral green juice, by Laurent Le Guernec of IFF, has top notes of juicy pear and kumquat, a heart of mimosa and buttercup, and a drydown of white amber and sandalwood.
The fourth fragrance in the lineup is an oriental floral which represents the stylish facet, built around cherry and purple amber notes; it also contains three proprietary molecules — cassyrein, cristallon and sylkolide. Created by Olivier Gillotin of Givaudan, it has top notes of blood orange, casseyrein and watermelon; a heart of magnolia flower and cristallon, and a drydown of sylkolide, sandalwood and purple amber.
De Lesquen noted that the bottles are intended to be a more feminine, elegant version of the Big Pony for Men’s flasklike glass bottles, with bright, feminine colors and an elegant silver cap. On each bottle, the pony is embossed into the glass on the front and the brightly colored number is screened on the back. Each scent is an eau de toilette available in two sizes, $70 for 100 ml. and $55 for 50 ml.
In the U.S., the scents will be carried in about 2,500 department and specialty store doors. “In addition to full distribution in the U.S., we’ll have a presence in Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, North America and travel retail worldwide,” said de Lesquen. Global distribution begins in April, with rollouts planned through June.
While both de Lesquen and Rey declined to discuss sales projections and advertising and promotional spending, industry sources estimated that the quartet could do $40 million at retail in the U.S. in their first year on counter. The U.S. advertising and promotional war chest could top $20 million in the quartet’s first year.
The print advertising campaign is shot by Bruce Weber, who also created a two-minute film and a 15-second trailer film teaser for the quartet; the films will likely be used for TV advertising at holiday. “The advertising concept celebrates the powerful group of four women, who visually reflect the fragrance collection through their vivid wardrobe and oversize polo pony icons,” said de Lesquen, noting that the campaign features models Andreea Diaconu of Romania, Daniela de Jesus of Mexico, Juliana Forge of Australia and Cris Urena of the Dominican Republic. The campaign will begin running in April fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, with four-page and eight-page inserts sampling all four scents.
A major digital campaign is planned as well, said de Lesquen. Custom units, page takeovers and companion banner ads for online advertising on major sites and networks are planned to increase awareness and drive traffic to Facebook, engagements and retailer sites, and a dedicated Facebook page will be geo-local for localized engagement and exclusive content, including a choose-your-fragrance game and music by OneRepublic. The campaign song, “Life in Color,” will be released on the group’s next album later this year.