CEW turned a corner by having its first panel discussion featuring men. A winning formula for fragrance was at the core of conversation during the Cosmetic Executive Women’s Women and Men in Beauty Series event on June 26, titled “Formula for Success.”
The panel, moderated by WWD Beauty Inc. editor Jenny Fine included Olivier Gillotin, vice president perfumer of Givaudan, Ron Rolleston, executive vice president of creative and new business development for Elizabeth Arden and Kathy Widmer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Elizabeth Arden. All three shared their insight on how to create a successful fragrance.
Widmer pointed to the success of the Justin Bieber’s women’s fragrance in explaining that it’s critical to find the partner in product licensing. The prestige fragrance business in the US grew 13 percent and half of that total growth came from Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. “If you go back to 2004, the total number of celebrity fragrances launched, as well as any flankers, were about 11 brands and they roughly retailed $10 million each,” said Widmer. “Last year 116 celebrity fragrances launched with an average retail value of one million dollars. So it illustrates the size of the pie hasn’t dramatically changed but the pool of players and the business is dramatically up.”
“With a celebrity, it’s most important to develop a level of trust,” said Rolleston. “When you sign a license agreement you end up with them for a long time. When Taylor came to our office we spent sometime on business aspects and showed her the market research that we did. We wanted to engage her in the creative process.”
Gillotin also acknowledged the importance of trust and getting to know Swift when creating her scent. “I want people to feel as if they are a part of her life,” said Gillotin. It was key for him to converse with Swift and understand what she likes and where she’s coming from. He asked her what particular scents she enjoyed and said she loves berries. To capture her youth and exuberance he fused florals and white berries. But Gillotin expressed that creating a fragrance is not just one person’s ideas and that he not only met with Swift once a week, but also with Givaudan and Elizabeth Arden.
Widmer explained the marketing tactics used when turning a celebrity into a product franchise. “With 116 launches, its tricky and there’s a certain degree of research that can be done up front to better a company’s chances,” said Widmer. “There are a couple of things we look for when looking to see if a celebrity can translate into that category, and some do it better than others. I say that Taylor Swift is love and Justin Bieber is lust. They have an intense following. The way the game is changing now has to do with the digital space. So we are looking to get a better understanding of the celebrity through their digital following and marketing to their fans that way.”
With celebrity fragrances flooding the market, Gillotin and Rolleston addressed what makes a classic. “It’s more difficult now, but it can be done,” said Gillotin. “It’s a state of mind. You need to know the concept and be able to look at it in a different way.”
“Longevity,” said Rolleston. “We set out to create a classic with Wonderstruck and only time will tell if her fans go back to the fragrance.”
“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