The hip-hop impresario-turned-designer will make his debut on the HSN network Monday, on behalf of his I Am King and Unforgivable fragrances. His appearance will mark a significant step in HSN’s campaign to not only prove fragrances can be sold on TV, but also capture a commanding vantage in the market. Mindy Grossman, chief executive officer of HSN Inc., recalled working at VH1, and she wants to apply a similar strategy. “We should own Behind the Fragrance,” Grossman said, paraphrasing the title of the music-biography series.
To counteract the critics, who contend that fragrance can’t be sniffed and sampled on TV, Lancôme put 2.5 million scented strips of Tresor into HSN’s December viewers’ guide. The storytelling aspect has been buttressed by the creation of sets designed to evoke the story of each brand, such as Gwen Stefani’s Snow Bunnies flankers of her Harajuku Lovers franchise, as well as brands by Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lopez.
HSN also has built a special set for Combs in its St. Petersburg, Fla., studio. The design has a homey, living-room feeling reminiscent of a talk show. That’s because half the presentation will be in a conversational format, with Combs being interviewed on camera. He will not be pitching the products.
Grossman’s strategy is to tell the backstory — “to bring the fragrance, the brand and who he is to life. We think Sean has a huge following and he has got a great story to share.” Specifically, Grossman said Combs will “be sharing his beliefs behind his fragrances, why he developed them and what are the reference points.”
She added, “We have a real diverse audience and we see the opportunity for Sean to bring in a broad segment of new customers.” Grossman concluded, “This is a very embedded part of the strategy to really create a very exciting, dynamic distribution channel for prestige fragrances. It’s about coming into that movie.”
Combs will be on the air from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Nov. 30. None of the executives would break out numbers, but according to industry sources, Combs and HSN hope to break the $400,000 mark in retail sales for the two-hour show.
Jeffrey Tweedy, executive vice president of Sean John, said the company’s goal is to increase brand awareness through the broader reach of TV. Referring to the talk show format, he said, “We are excited this is the first time this format is being used.” He praised Grossman for “turning [HSN] into a hip TV channel.”
“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