CANNES, France — A strong theme that emerged from conversations with beauty executives at the TFWA World Exhibition 2011 here last week was the growing realization that companies are increasingly doing more to support their classic brands.
Kay Spanger, a member of Gebr. Heinemann’s board, said people often ask him what Chanel’s magic is, and he responds, “Chanel supports its pillars.”
Spanger’s sentiments were echoed throughout the meeting rooms of the Palais des Festivals.
Another company that has always stood behind its brands is Groupe Clarins. The latest manifestation is in an ambitious and elaborate TV advertising campaign that resembles a small movie. Joël Palix, president of Clarins Fragrance Group, noted this has been the case with Chanel campaigns and more recently with Dior’s advertising for J’Adore. He particularly pointed out the new Eva Mendes commercial for Thierry Mugler’s Angel, in which the star even sings. It premiered on prime-time French TV earlier this month.
Another support for Angel is an Internet promotion called The Dream Machine, in which someone can pick out five words from a list of 150 to best express their dream. The words then connect into the five points of the star shape long associated with the Angel brand, and a visual manifestation appears.
For Azzaro’s Decibel men’s scent, the advertising campaign features The Strokes’ front man, Julian Casablancas.
“We’re all talking about brands becoming entertainment,” said Palix. “We no longer say we do a commercial. We produce a film. We are a media-producer.”
Palix noticed that his competitors are investing more in their brands — both for media campaigns and the development of a scent’s juice.
“I was more worried about the category three to four years ago than I am today,” he added, referring to the rise some years back of celebrity and more affordable fragrances. “I think there’s been an effort, and it is paying off. More brands are taking care of their classics.”
This trend was also noted at Euroitalia, which is mounting a double-barrel media campaign promoting two of its Versace fragrances, first the new Yellow Diamond and then the strength of the Versace brand, Bright Crystal. Mario Testino photographed both commercials.
Giovanni Sgariboldi, president of Euroitalia, explained the thinking behind creating a new advertisement for Bright Crystal, which was launched in 2006.
“If we change the communication, we think we will be more powerful,” he said.
Over at Perfume Holding, president and chief executive officer Enrico Ceccato is busy restaging his arsenal of brands, starting with Ferrari and Benetton. He also intends to dust off the venerable Atkinsons’ name, which — with Creed — was a fragrance supplier of the European aristocracy in the 17th century.
“We have the recipes for a thousand nobles,” said Ceccato, predicting it would take two years to bring the house of Atkinsons back to its illustrious roots.
One brand that is not yet a classic, and may never be due to its disgraced namesake, is John Galliano, after the designer was recently found guilty by a Paris court of uttering racist and anti-Semitic insults at a cafe.
Three days before the incident was made public, Perfume Holding was in the midst of launching the brand in the German-based Douglas chain. The rollout was halted, according to Ceccato. However, due to blogger demand, it was resumed again.
“The final result was the consumers don’t care,” he said. “Sales where we were able to launch and stay in stores have done very well.”
“Italy wasn’t affected,” continued Ceccato. “Germany was superaffected. Asia was not affected. Singapore seems to be affected.”
Meanwhile, Perfume Holdings continues to stand behind the Galliano brand. A launch of an eau fraiche is due next year, and a new men’s fragrance is being planned for 2013.
Beauté Prestige International, Shiseido’s high-end fragrance arm, is working to build its recently launched Elie Saab brand into a classic. The Elie Saab Le Parfum scent has been a “great success, above expectations” in the markets where it was introduced in July, such as France, Germany and Spain, according to Eric Henry, BPI’s chief operating officer. For example, the fragrance ranked number two at Douglas in Germany in July and remained in the top 10, placing sixth there in August.
“It will be above the projection that we made. I am very, very confident,” continued Henry.
At the time of its launch, industry sources estimated Elie Saab Le Parfum, which is slated to hit the U.S. market in 2013, would generate $50 million in first-year retail sales globally.
For Jean Paul Gaultier, BPI’s cornerstone class brand, a new men’s fragrance, called Kokorico, was being featured at the TFWA trade show. Its rollout began with the French market earlier this month.
Henry delicately described BPI’s relationship with Gaultier as “a new context.” BPI’s Gaultier fragrance licenses lasts until mid-2016, but rival Puig has acquired 55 percent of the Gaultier fashion house and it is widely assumed that Puig would like to take the license back.
Henry, however, made a point of saying that BPI continues to spend behind Gaultier, which includes some best-selling classic, core brands such as Classique and Le Male.
The general upsurge in support for classic fragrance brands could reflect consumers’ desire — in these uncertain times — for known, quality products.
“I think there’s a kind of hankering for secure things, safe things,” said Jill Hill, managing director of fragrance distributor Aspects Beauty, speaking as an industry observer. “If you’re going to spend your money, you’re going to spend it on something that you trust, rather than necessarily trialing new things. I think people believe if they spend money it’s going to be on a product which has provenance, which has got tradition, heritage and all those good names.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye