Jason Wu does not think like a typical designer when it comes to beauty.
Traditionally, people talk about the scent of a woman as she enters a room; Wu thinks about the ambience the fragrance creates in the room.
“Something that really sets a tone,” he said Wednesday evening before unveiling his first luxury scented candle, done with home fragrance house Nest Candles. “A lit candle, to me, sets a mood immediately,” he added.
Laura Slatkin, founder and chief executive officer of Nest, said the candle, priced at $48, will be on counter in April within a tight 300-door distribution of primarily fashion specialty stores, such as Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. And it’s the first of a series, she said. While no one broke out figures, industry sources speculated the power of this candle could translate into a retail sales target of upward of $400,000 for the first year.
The deal with Nest seemed foreordained years ago, when a friend gave Wu a bamboo-scented candle from Nest. He kept buying more candles.
“I became a huge fan,” he said. “It was my scent.” Slatkin eventually sent him some candles and met him. “What impressed me is that he really cared about home fragrance,” she said. “He was really interested. It wasn’t, ‘Oh, let’s do a candle.’ ”
During the development process, Wu found the design of the candle’s “vessel,” or container, on his BlackBerry. He thought of an orchid print he ended up using for a dress in his spring 2012 collection, and he had a photo of a swatch on the phone. The scent was trickier because the thought process was at a roadblock. Wu wanted a pear scent mixed with floralcy, but all the florals overpowered the pear, “so it became very heady and traditional,” Slatkin said. One of the most famous perfumers in the world, Christophe Laudamiel, entered with the answer to the olfactive riddle, and even gave the candle its name, Orchid Rain. (“He has a great knack for naming scents,” Slatkin said.) The perfumer knew of a rare orchid that emits a pleasant scent. He also introduced a leather note. “Leather adds edge,” Wu observed. “Leather and orchid describe the scent perfectly. It’s youthful, it’s intense and also classically done.”
The white Cattleya orchid was blended with nashi pear, pomegranate and goji berry. Blond birchwood and hints of pink pepper and coconut were added for enhancement.
“This is such an unconventional way for a designer to enter the beauty market,” Wu remarked. “In this day and age, fashion is redefining itself all the time. We’re perhaps doing something that may pave the way for other things.…When people think of beauty [they say], ‘Let’s do perfume.’ Maybe a few years from now it may be, ‘Well, we need to do home fragrance, immediately.’”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion