It’s a new day for Giorgio Armani in feminine beauty.
At least that is the vision of Veronique Gautier, worldwide president of the Giorgio Armani Parfums division of L’Oréal, who wants to “reinvent [it] in terms of luxury status.” In the past, Armani’s women’s fragrances didn’t match the sales power of the designer’s market-leading men’s brands. But that began to change in 2010 with the launch of the women’s scent Acqua di Gioia, which ranked number 14 globally last year, according to Gautier.
Now comes Sì, a feminine scent bolstered by the advertising featuring Cate Blanchett. As it rolled out through Europe in September, the new brand made “a tremendous entrance” in every market last fall, then in February made its debut in China, Armani’s fastest-growing market. With the exception of the U.S., where the fragrance had not yet been launched, “Sì was the best feminine launch worldwide in 2013,” Gautier declared. While the company does not break out sales projections, industry sources indicate that L’Oréal is targeting a top-10 ranking in the U.S. and around the world. That would amount to retail sales of $25 million in the first year for the U.S. alone. Industry sources also calculate the ad budget for the U.S. at roughly $20 million. RELATED STORY: Cate Blanchett on Acting and Armani >>
Gautier attributed the improvement in sales performance to a strengthening of consistency of execution matching the image of the Armani brand. “It is sophisticated; it’s smart luxury and modern luxury,” she said. “Cate is timeless and modern.” Along with Sì, there are two other legs to Gautier’s strategy for building the feminine side of Armani’s beauty business. One is the color cosmetics and makeup collection, which achieved more than a 20 percent sales increase last year. The third axis is a skin-care launch expected next year. “We want to be the most luxurious makeup-artist brand,” Gautier said, pointing to the backstage influence of Linda Cantello, who collaborates with Armani on product creation.
Four years ago, the brand’s strength was limited to its top two men’s fragrances, but now the women’s side is flowering. Gautier asserted, “Giorgio Armani wants to show that he’s a global beauty actor.”
“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