NEW YORK — No one will ever accuse Sean "Diddy" Combs of being understated.
The dapper rapper made a very important delivery to Saks Fifth Avenue's Manhattan flagship Thursday morning, driving a Brinks truck packed with the first shipment of Unforgivable, his new men's fragrance for the Estée Lauder Cos.
Combs is doing two versions of Unforgivable. His first fragrance is a $300 "couture" version which will be carried by Saks Fifth Avenue's Manhattan, Beverly Hills, Atlanta, Bal Harbour and Dadeland stores and Combs' own stores in the U.S., while a less pricy version will bow at about 1,800 department and specialty store doors, including Macy's and Sephora, in mid-February.
Surveying the screaming crowd of teenage girls crammed behind NYPD barricades, loudly professing their love for Combs, Saks Fifth Avenue's vice chairman, Ron Frasch, observed dryly: "I think Sean is ready for the Tom Ford challenge." Ford's first products for Lauder debuted at Saks in November and shattered the store's personal appearance record, drawing in about 1,000 people and $30,000 in sales.
As for tackling records, Combs observed, "Tom makes them, I break them." And he has reason to be confident: more than 500 fans stood behind barricades in 38-degree weather just to catch a glimpse of Combs — who was simply making a delivery of the product, not doing a traditional personal appearance where fans are greeted and bottles are signed.
Before the bottles had even arrived, Saks had pre-sold 11 of the 2.5-oz. eau de parfum units. By the time he left at noon, 30 of the superpricy bottles had been sold, five while he was standing at the counter.
The bottles are of smoked gray glass in a clear acrylic holder, topped with a gunmetal sculptured cap and packaged in a black keepsake box. The packaging was inspired by Combs' favorite things, including Ferraris, yachts and planes, and his homes around the world. "It's architectural, a mix of classic and contemporary," he told WWD earlier this year. "I saw maybe 20 different bottles, and when I saw this one, I thought it was different and unique and something that I felt would be remembered."
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)