The signature scent -- introduced in 1994 and bottled in a round, fanned-out flask with a shiny gold top that was designed in-house by Marie Gray -- is a floriental, with fresh night-blooming florals such as jasmine, moonflower and gardenia at its...
The signature scent--introduced in 1994 and bottled in a round, fanned-out flask with a shiny gold top that was designed in-house by Marie Gray--is a floriental, with fresh night-blooming florals such as jasmine, moonflower and gardenia at its heart.White Camellia bowed four years later, its top notes including mandarin, cassias buds, jasmine and Bulgarian rose, with a heart of peony and geranium and a dry-down of sandalwood, amber and musk. Its lightness is embodied in the clear, modern bottle topped with a frosted silver cap.Yet St. John hasn't quite smelled success with its two offerings; the company won't even comment on sales. Evidently, figures have scarcely registered in the company's overall take, which includes ready-to-wear, jewelry, accessories and home products.Although distributed in its 250 retail doors, including all of St. John's 26 signature boutiques and 10 outlet stores, the fragrance and its stable of scented spinoffs--bath salts, body creams, shower gels and candles--remain novelties.There was a concerted push to promote them through the Nineties, as evidenced by the ad campaign's central image: that of Kelly Gray, dressed in black and standing against a black background, all the better to focus on her platinum-haired head, her chunky gold earrings and grand necklace and an oversized version of the gold signature bottle she's embracing. (The image also serves as the cover of the coffee table book St. John published on its 35th anniversary.)Five years later, the two scents, created by the Geneva-based manufacturer Firmenich, don't even warrant recognition in the company's press kit. But the company insists the fragrances are not fading out--they're just in a kind of holding pattern. They haven't been dropped from the Web site, after all.In fact, as the company enters a new era of expansion, it has hardly given up on the idea of beauty. Could lipsticks and eye shadows also become part of St. John's overall scheme to expand its lifestyle offerings?Chief executive officer Robert Gray's take on the topic is brief yet direct. Asked if anything is under development beyond fragrance, he carefully answered, "Currently, no." Yet it's possible? "Absolutely," he replied, with a telling grin.Industry observers caution that the beauty game is not for the casual participant. "The cosmetics industry today is for big players with enough capital to do it right," observed New York-based industry marketing consultant Allan Mottus.What's more, department stores no longer hold all the cards, with the expansion of such beauty retailers as Sephora and the growth of the mass market. And for a brand like St. John, which is heavily invested in better department chains such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, that's something to consider in any future plan.The company's strategy seems to reflect this outlook. Fragrance and beauty, although admittedly not the priorities that footwear and handbags are right now, are still undergoing evaluation for new opportunities, according to the Grays and Bruce Fetter."We need to determine--likely in a partnership with a larger player--how significant the St. John image can be in this category," Fetter conceded. "We're very excited about the potential. It will certainly be a focus for us in the future. We do think it can eventually become a strategic growth vehicle."Mottus also cautioned that the very nature of today's cosmetics industry seems to be at odds with the St. John philosophy. "The cosmetics game is going more to the flash, the designers who have the notoriety, the high style. The more notoriety they receive, the better it is for their sales. The game as it's played today doesn't really favor [St. John's] kind of distribution and marketing."In fact, Motter believes, St. John may want to forgo it altogether. "The fashion scene today has nothing synonymous with high quality and taste. And that hasn't been what St John has been about."
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)