Designer Reem Acra’s gowns have been marching down red carpets and bridal aisles for years — now, the designer is giving her fans a fragrance to pair with them.
During an interview at her home in New York City’s Fashion District, the Lebanese designer — who founded her fashion line in 1997 with a bridal collection — talked about incorporating her heritage into her first fragrance effort. The namesake scent is set for an October launch.
“Fragrance, after fashion, tells the story of a brand,” Acra told WWD. “I was waiting eagerly for this moment, because I had something in mind. Basically, I think this fragrance is special because it’s not a made-up story. It’s my life story. Amber has been part of my homes since I was a little kid — we used to collect it [in Lebanon.] Peonies are my favorite flower,” she gestured to a large bouquet — “and every morning I drink orange blossom, steeped in hot water, to relax.”
Created by Acra and her fragrance licensee, TPR Holdings LLC, along with Firmenich’s Pierre Negrin, the scent has top notes of orange blossom, pear and bergamot; a heart of ginger, jasmine, lily of the valley and blooming peony, and a drydown of amber, cedarwood, patchouli and warm musk.
Eaux de parfum in three sizes — 30 ml. for $35, 50 ml. for $90 and 90 ml. for $125 — will be offered, as will a 200-ml. perfumed body lotion, $50; a 200-ml. bath and shower gel, $40, and a 5.1-oz. body cream, $75. In December, a 90-ml. limited-edition parfum, $300, will be offered, as will a $125 gift set.
The fragrance bottle, designed by Doug Lloyd of Lloyd & Co., is a glass square bordered in gold and embellished with Acra’s trademark red dove insignia. Red trim also adorns the cap.
The scent will launch at Saks Fifth Avenue in October, followed by additional specialty store retailers in the U.S. and Harrods in the U.K., said Brian Robinson, president of TPR. U.S. distribution will top out at about 220 doors in the U.S. and 2,000 globally.
The print ad, shot by Tom Munro, features Crystal Renn and will break in October fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. An ambitious digital campaign is also planned.
While neither Acra nor Robinson would discuss projected sales, industry sources estimated that the scent could do at least $15 million at retail globally in its first year on counter. Acra plans to do public appearances in support of the scent.
Acra continues to extend her reach in other categories. In late June, Acra also created a moderately priced bridal line with Nordstrom called Roses by Reem Acra. Available at all 18 Nordstrom Wedding Suites in the U.S., the line features dresses which retail for less than $4,000, about half the price of the designer’s red-carpet and wedding gowns. Acra plans to add an additional six gowns, as well as accessories and veils, in November.
“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