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Ferragamo Hopes for ‘Shoe-in’ With New Scent

Inspired by its artisan shoemaking roots, fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo will stride into fall with its new cornerstone women's fragrance, called F by Ferragamo.

AREZZO, Italy — Inspired by its artisan shoemaking roots, fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo will stride into fall with its new cornerstone women’s fragrance, called F by Ferragamo.

Ferragamo Parfums executives are positioning the scent, which is to be launched worldwide in September, as the five-year-old fragrance portfolio’s key scent.

The perfume pays homage to the shoemaking talents of the house’s founder, Salvatore Ferragamo, through an intricately designed flacon. Its profile reveals the lines of the wedge — a model of shoe Ferragamo designed in 1937. Gilded red and black bands crossed on the bottle’s cap are meant to recall a strappy evening sandal.

F by Ferragamo was unveiled here last week at Ferruccio Ferragamo’s private Tuscan villa Il Borro. Ferruccio Ferragamo, chief executive officer of the Ferragamo Group, said in an interview that the new scent was a turning point for the group’s fragrance division.

“My father always believed in fragrance and he started out producing fragrance as early as 1956,” said Ferruccio Ferragamo. “He had a scent that he packaged in Baccarat crystal bottles,” he noted, adding, “I believe F by Ferragamo will solidify the success of our fragrance division today.”

Luciano Bertinelli, director of the house’s Ferragamo Parfums division, said the fragrance was a crucial component of the young division’s portfolio. “F by Ferragamo is the synthesis of our roots and of our DNA; it reflects the value of the house through the bottle design and through the fragrance, which is spectacular.”

A year and a half in the making, F by Ferragamo was created by Parisian nose Francis Kurkdjian of fragrance house Takasago. “I wanted to create something elegant and really different,” Kurkdjian said of the floral-based scent. He utilized three flowers — jasmine for a fruity top note, rose for a spicy middle note and orange flower for a leathery bottom note.

The bottle was designed by Sylvie de France, who accentuated the shoe motif by putting an arch in the bottle’s base to give the impression of a foot. The clear glass bottle, which contains a faintly rose-tinted juice, has an angled cutout cap and metallic red and black straps.

Industry sources estimate F by Ferragamo could generate as much as 12 million euros globally, or $14.9 million at current exchange, in first-year sales volume.

The majority of that figure is expected to be propelled by an extensive advertising campaign. Ferragamo Parfums will invest 6 million euros, or $7.4 million, in a TV and print campaign. A 20-second television ad features a nude model in a pair of gold stiletto sandals and was directed by Tho Van Tran of Air agency in Paris. The television ad will be aired in Italy and Korea, while a print media campaign featuring the model in three poses with the slogans “F for Fascinating,” “F for Fetish” and “F for Fabulous” will be expanded to include the Japanese and U.S. markets.

In the U.S., the brand will be handled by Ferragamo’s American distributor, Gary Farn Ltd. Alison Farn, president of Farn, said, “F by Ferragamo represents a dynamic new direction in the luxury fragrance arena. It is a powerful, modern concept that represents both the history of Salvatore Ferragamo and provides a glimpse into the future.”

Dana Kline, vice president of sales at Gary Farn Ltd., said, “F by Ferragamo will debut in the U.S. market in mid-September at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Sephora.” She added that the launch will be kicked off in August with a presale campaign and the marketing strategy will be driven by a national magazine advertising campaign. Industry sources project retail sales at $4.5 million for the 400-door distribution during the launch period.

F by Ferragamo, an eau de parfum, will come in three versions, a 30-ml. bottle priced at $52, a 50-ml. bottle for $72 and a 90-ml. bottle for $92. Ancillary products like a bath and shower gel and a body lotion, both 200 ml., will be priced at $34 and $38, respectively. These are the U.S. prices.

The Ferragamo Parfums division was founded in 2001, after breaking away from the Bulgari fragrances umbrella. The company holds a fragrance license and distribution for Emanuel Ungaro in addition to its own scents.

Ferragamo Parfums recorded wholesale sales volume of 40 million euros, or $49.5 million, last year, a 43 percent jump compared with 2004. Fragrances accounted for 6 percent of the Ferragamo Group’s total sales volume of 575 million euros, or $712.7 million.

Bertinelli is forecasting F by Ferragamo will help thrust fragrances’ share of the total turnover to 10 to 12 percent in the next three years.

Scents from Ferragamo Parfums are currently distributed in 8,750 doors globally, though Bertinelli will explore more sales opportunities, especially after opening 42 doors in China and 20 in India, he noted. The company plans to expand its current U.S. distribution network by 300 doors for a total of 700 points of sale by yearend. The firm also plans to tap Latin America.

Additionally, a summer scent — Emanuel Ungaro’s Apparition Sun — will be launched worldwide this spring and is expected to be on the market until November.