MILAN — Gucci is gearing up to launch a new fragrance infused with Old Hollywood charm and fronted by Blake Lively.
Inspired by the couture line of the same name that made its debut in 2010 at the Cannes Film Festival, the Gucci Première eau de parfum is designed to evoke all the glitz and glamour associated with that event.
In a telephone interview, Gucci creative director Frida Giannini said the perfume is for a beautiful, successful woman who is “living her moment, whether it’s on the red carpet or at a private dinner.”
“We have three big pillars that we want to support and make as long-lasting classics in the market,” added Luigi Feola, vice president of Procter & Gamble Prestige, referring to Flora, Guilty and Gucci by Gucci. “Première will be the female counterpart to the male Gucci by Gucci,” he explained, noting that the original women’s Gucci by Gucci — Giannini’s first fragrance for the Italian fashion house, which some considered quite masculine — has become more of a niche perfume.
The new scent offers top notes of bergamot and orange blossom, a heart of white flowers and musk, and a base cocktail of leather and wood.
“Celebrities and red-carpet glamour have always been a part of the Gucci heritage,” noted Giannini, adding that Gucci Première dresses — which take about six months to complete — often feature rich embroidery.
Giannini was actively involved in all stages of the fragrance’s development, including designing the bottle, which drips with gold and heritage details and looks like a fashion accessory. The Gucci horsebit, interlocking GG symbol and founder Guccio Gucci’s signature on a tag all dangle from the golden cap with Gucci Première emblazoned on the top, while the brand’s characteristic striped webbing, usually seen in green and red, appears in gold on gold on the bottle’s side.
Feola said the design team worked hard to achieve the gold effect Giannini wanted on the bottle, as the fragrance needed to be “as close as possible to the Gucci world.” He added that the packaging “leverages a number of iconic elements of the Gucci equity,” which was considered key to the launch’s chance for success.
Although Feola declined to provide an estimate, industry sources speculate the fragrance could bring in as much as $200 million in retail sales, or $120 million at wholesale, in its first year in global distribution. “We hope it will be one of the most important initiatives in the industry this year,” said Feola, who noted that since P&G took on the Gucci fragrance license in 2006, business has nearly tripled thanks to the success of Flora and Gucci Guilty. “The Gucci brand is very strong globally, and [Première] is designed to be a global fragrance,” he said.
Lively, whose career took off when she landed a starring role on the TV series “Gossip Girl,” has garnered considerable attention within the fashion industry. Giannini said she chose the actress as the face of Gucci Première partly “because she is a girl of extraordinary beauty and she’s a girl who loves fashion. She has great taste in clothes.” But it was Lively’s attitude that won over the designer, who said: “Although she’s young, she’s also very determined, and I liked this spirit.…She knows how to be a diva in the right sense, with an aspirational glamour.”
Lively praised the Gucci brand’s balance between “the feminine and masculine powers of a woman,” and noted this is her first fragrance campaign.
“Gucci is a staple. It is a brand I have always looked up to because to me it represents strength,” she said. “In their designs, in their images, in what they stand for philanthropically, and especially in their fragrance.…I couldn’t be more proud to be working with Gucci and its heart, Frida.”
Asked about Old Hollywood influences on her style, Lively noted she had grown up watching old movies, and lavished praise on Katharine Hepburn (“the perfect example of all that I believe women should be”), Grace Kelly (“Grace’s style was soft like a sigh”) and Audrey Hepburn, whose style “captured happiness.”
“I wish women still walked around the house in full-length, black-tie-worthy dressing gowns,” she said. “The beauty in old movies isn’t just the material. It’s the aesthetic.…You can watch ‘The Philadelphia Story’ on silent and still love it. It is one of the greatest fashion shows you’ll ever witness.”
Feola anticipates especially strong sales in the U.S. and Italy — Gucci strongholds — as well as emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and Russia. “Our idea is to limit the number of initiatives but make them big. We have a strong support plan already lined up for the following year,” he said.
The fragrance will come in three sizes: 1 oz. for 63 euros, 1.7 oz. for 83 euros and 2.5 oz. for 108 euros; in the U.S., they will be priced at $63, $87 and $105, respectively. A 6.7-oz. body lotion, 6.7-oz. shower gel and 3.4-oz. deodorant spray will also be available, for 43 euros, 37 euros and 37 euros — $52, $43 and $41 in the U.S. — respectively.
Gucci Première is scheduled to arrive first in the U.K. in late July, with exclusives at Harrods and Selfridges, and the worldwide launch will kick off in September with the exception of China, where the fragrance will arrive in 2013. The ad campaign will also make its debut in the U.K. before rolling out internationally.
Photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott shot the ad campaign in February at the Sheats Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles, selected for its all-encompassing view of the city. The black-and-white image shows Lively in a backless dress covered in sequins, golden hair styled for another era, gazing at the city lights as her reflection bounces off a glass windowpane.
“All these ingredients rendered the idea of this cinematic, seductive attitude,” noted Giannini.
Feola added the print campaign draws particular emphasis to the bottle as an “unmistakably Gucci” emblem.
Film director Nicolas Winding Refn, who said he “relished” the new challenge of working for Gucci, shot the TV commercial at the same location, with additional scenes in the Mojave Desert, portraying Lively as a leading lady preparing for a big premiere.
Ruini e Mariotti, longtime Gucci partners, handled art direction for the ad and commercial.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews