ATLANTA--Lighter scents, strong new launches and a renewed interest in the classics have bolstered fragrance sales for Southeast retailers. At Rich's, women's fragrances are showing high-single-digit gains. Men's fragrances, which have been flat year to date, are starting to turn around, thanks to strong Father's Day promotions and recent launches such as Cassini for Men, Realm and Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger. Fall launches at Rich's for men and women include Nina Ricci's Deci Dela, Jess by Jessica McClintock, Todd Oldham, Estee Lauder Pleasures, Perry Ellis' 360i for Men and DK Men from Donna Karan. Top women's fragrances include Calvin Klein's CK One, Eternity, Escape and Obsession; Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds; Realm; Jessica McClintock; Oscar from Oscar de la Renta; Chanel, and Givenchy's Amarige. Top men's lines include Tommy, Klein's Obsession for Men and Eternity for Men, Ralph Lauren's Polo Sport and Polo, Paul Sebastian, Aramis, Davidoff's Cool Water and Realm. Pat Joyce, vice president and divisional merchandise manager, noted a trend to lighter fragrances. "Vendors are coming out with light scents or lighter versions of existing ones," she said. "These are the kinds of fragrances that can be splashed on, like the old Jean Nate concept." Joyce emphasized the importance of new launches, but not at the expense of existing business. "It's our job to keep the classics business up and to keep new launches from cannibalizing other brands," she said, adding that focused promotions, with an emphasis on training and marketing, insure long-lasting sales. Along with new brands, classic scents such as Oscar, Tiffany, Chanel No. 5 and Coco have performed well recently. "The customer--probably mostly Baby Boomers--seems to be in a mood for classics lately," she said. Joyce said the upcoming holiday gift sets that promise to be especially strong sellers include Alfred Sung's Forever and Jessica McClintock for women, and Tommy, Paul Sebastian and Polo Sport for men. At McRae's, based in Jackson, Miss., fragrance sales are up 4 percent for the year to date. Women's sales are up 9 percent, but men's are down 4 percent, according to Chris Evans, divisional merchandise manager. "Men's numbers are up against major launches last spring," said Evans, who added that the launch of Tommy this fall should pick up men's business for an 8 percent gain. McRae's also will launch Design for Men from Paul Sebastian this fall. Total fragrance sales at McRae's are projected to grow 5 percent this year, while the women's category should show a 6 percent increase for fall and end up 7 percent ahead for the year. "With so many new fragrances, we think customers are somewhat confused and are interested in a return to classics," he said. Top women's fragrances at McCrae's, in order, are Lauder's Beautiful, CK One, White Diamonds, Tresor and Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers. Chanel No. 5, Lancome's Tresor, Amarige and Liz Claiborne's Realities have shown the fastest growth. Top men's lines are Klein's Eternity for Men and Obsession for Men and Lauren's Safari for Men, Polo Sport and Polo. The men's scents growing the fastest have been Polo Sport, Tuscany and Aramis. This fall, McRae's will launch Pleasures, Taylor's Black Pearls and Deci Dele. Evans claimed that while national advertising is essential, manufacturers need to localize it with co-op TV and catalog pieces. "Some vendors take a cookie-cutter approach," he said. "Some advertising approaches aren't always right for our region." Customers continue to be extremely value-driven, Evans said, noting that many vendors have responded for the holidays by holding or slightly dropping prices on gift sets.
“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