For the first time in history, showing identification will be obligatory to buy a bottle — of scent.
In the U.S., consumers will have to prove they're 21 years or older to purchase Tom of Finland, the new men's fragrance created by the Tom of Finland Foundation and its fragrance licensee — Etat Libre d'Orange. (In other countries, the age cutoff is to be 18.)
The reason the scent, due out starting in the end of February, won't be accessible to people of all ages is that its outer packaging can be opened to reveal a (sometimes racy) sketch by artist Tom of Finland, a pioneer of hypermasculine gay imagery. In all, seven sketches will be available.
Tom began drawing men in 1953, but only published his art starting in 1969.
"It was almost on the same day as the Stonewall Riots," said Jean-Claude Magret, the Etat Libre d'Orange executive charged with the development of Tom of Finland. He was referring to a pivotal gay rights moment that took place in New York's Greenwich Village, when police "raiding" the Stonewall Inn bar were met with resistance that sparked rioting throughout the night.
Since the foundation's goal is to transmit the heritage of Tom, who died in 1991, it opted to introduce a fragrance for the next generation. And Etat Libre d'Orange — the Paris-based fragrance retailer and manufacturer whose stated aim is to freely create products without taboos — was a natural partner.
The foundation requested the fragrance be concocted so it "does not disturb the odor of men," explained Etat Libre d'Orange's founder and chief executive officer, Etienne de Swardt.
With that in mind, Givaudan perfumer Antoine Lie also gleaned inspiration from the outdoor imagery apparent in most of Tom of Finland's work.
"There is open space and fresh air. I wanted to translate that into fragrance," said Lie, adding that he also interpreted the metal, leather, sensuality, beauty and radiance of Tom of Finland's drawings.
Lie envisaged "a guy coming out of a shower. He's clean, but not fragranced. And he puts on leather pants."So the juice he concocted includes a "crumpled leaf" and a suede accord, plus notes of metal, pepperwood, iris, vetiver, tonka bean and musks.
The fragrance comes in the standard bottle from Etat Libre d'Orange and with a black, soft-touch cap. The outer box also was created to be soft to touch, to be reminiscent of leather or latex, according to Jean-Marc Dimanche, ceo of the Vitriol design agency, which helped design the product's packaging.
The 50-ml. eau de parfum spray is to retail in Europe for 75 euros, or $110 at current exchange. The scent will be launched in the Paris-based Etat Libre d'Orange store, online at etatlibredorange.com and exclusively in the U.K.'s Harvey Nichols at the end of next month. It then will be rolled out in June exclusively in Canada at Holt Renfrew and in the U.S., among other countries.
While Etat Libre d'Orange executives would not discuss figures, industry sources estimate the scent will ring up $734,000 at wholesale this year.
Etat Libre d'Orange has created 17 scents, including the latest, inspired by Rossy de Palma, which was introduced in September. The company, which was kicked off in 2006 and whose products are sold in 150 doors, takes its name (which means Free State of Orange, in English) from a former independent republic in what is now South Africa.
Sources estimate Etat Libre d'Orange generated total net sales of $1.2 million in 2007, and that it will make $1.8 million this year.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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