BEVERLY HILLS — With its all-white interior, from the skinny palm trees stretching to the ceiling to the bamboo framed shelf units, Penhaligon’s newest store, here on Rodeo Drive and the second in the U.S., marks the latest chapter in the...
BEVERLY HILLS — With its all-white interior, from the skinny palm trees stretching to the ceiling to the bamboo framed shelf units, Penhaligon’s newest store, here on Rodeo Drive and the second in the U.S., marks the latest chapter in the company’s 137-year history.
“This is the opposite of the traditional dark wood environment in our other stores,” said Joe Cicio, who only a few months ago came on board as senior vice president, retail marketing and product development, of Cradle Holdings Inc., which bought the British institution in early 2002. “We wanted to create something the traditional customer would be comfortable with. But we also want younger people to come in, look at the shop and go, ‘This is cool.’ ”
And it is. The whitewashed, 580-square-foot shop is filled with sunlight, giving it an airy freshness. The “trees” add a kind of fantastical quality that should easily resonate with a new generation of Penhaligon’s consumers. Overall, Peter Millard, the architect behind other company shops — including the new in-stores at Saks Fifth Avenue, delivered a selling environment that looks modern, without being minimal; decorative, without being overdone.
The door, at 439 North Rodeo Drive, opened May 13 with a ceremonial ribbon snip by actress Julia Ormond, there because the event, which had dozens of guests spilling out into the courtyard behind the store, benefited FilmAid International, which uses film to educate and entertain refugees worldwide. It was only the beginning of the company’s many other outreach plans to get its fragrances into the hands of the Hollywood community. During the Academy Awards weekend, the swag bag presented to 75 A-listers staying at the Beverly Hills contained plenty of Penhaligon’s.
Opening-night guests buzzed about the fragrances, the leather accessories and the unusual gifts — such as a tiny sterling silver egg to hold a baby’s first tooth, or cufflinks enameled with the British flag. “Hopefully, this is where people will drop in for unusual gifts,” said Jane Terker, president and chief operating officer, who co-founded Cradle early last year with fellow industry vet Robert A. Nielsen. The luxury company’s other brands are Erno Lazlo skin care and L’Artisan Parfumer.Luxury brand retailers along Rodeo average sales of $800 to $1,000 a square foot, according to real estate observers.
Terker, the former president of Donna Karan Beauty, introduced Artemesia, the now best-selling fragrance in the company’s collection, last September.
This September, she adds Malabah, a much more exotic scent in the stable, inspired by India. Citrus top notes are paired with Eastern spicy ginger, cardamon and nutmeg and floral rose, orris, jasmine and violet on a base of dry sweet amber musk. Number 19 in the Penhaligon’s scent portfolio, the eau de toilette is contained in a bottle handpainted with gold-leaf paisley, and pricedat $68 for a 50-ml. bottle and $90 for a 100-ml. bottle. Similarly, embellished cashmere shawls and burnt orange vanity cases and purses also will be merchandised with the line of bath and shower gel, soap and hand and body cream. Sources estimate the range will do $5 million at wholesale in its first year on counter.
On Monday, a new men’s scent called Endymion, named after a mythological Greek king, arrives in stores. But rather than triggering perpetual sleep, which befell its namesake, Endymion is designed “to keep the [Penhaligon’s] line revitalized,” said Terker. Endymion will target men as young as 20 — a decade or two younger than Penhaligon’s typical male customer. “We’re trying to create more fragrances that are a little more sophisticated, a little more complex,” she added.
Endymion is the first men’s fragrance launch in four years and ninth men’s scent overall. It features olfactory notes of bergamot and mandarin at the top; blond woods, nutmeg and vetiver at the core, and amber, leather and musk at the base. Fragrance Resources blended the juice for the cologne, which comes in a 100-ml. bottle for $70 and a 50-ml. version for $45. Shower gel, shave cream and aftershave will accompany the fragrance. Industry sources estimated Endymion could do $2.5 million in wholesale sales worldwide in its first year.
Penhaligon’s distribution counts nearly 140 doors worldwide, including 62 in Germany and 21 Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Another seven Saks boutiques are slated to open by summer’s end, bringing the total to 14.As for freestanding doors, Rodeo Drive is only the beginning. A London image flagship is on the search list; there are now 12 freestanding Penhaligon’s in the U.K. And it is on the lookout for a New York address larger than the Madison store, which comes in just under 200 square feet.
“There are other markets we’re looking at,” Terker confirmed. “We’re not just going to be a two-store entity in the U.S. It’s a country with enormous potential for this brand because there’s nothing like it.”
“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