By  on September 30, 2005

NEW YORK — For the upcoming advertising campaign backing his update of the Estée Lauder Cos.' Youth Dew, Tom Ford has gotten naked again — sort of.

The print ad, photographed by Craig McDean and closely art directed by Ford, shows Lauder's regular model, Carolyn Murphy, slumbering nearly nude on a couch, with a sheet covering strategic body parts.

The ad is designed to promote Amber Nude, a new interpretive fragrance that updates Estée Lauder's groundbreaking scent Youth Dew, which had caused a sensation in 1953. It wasn't just the fact that Lauder had offered a bath oil that was as sensual and powerful as a perfume so that women could buy it themselves, then a new idea. There also was the eye-opening advertising image. Shot through a frosted glass shower door, it showed a naked woman toweling herself off after taking a bath.

Ford, interviewed by telephone from London Thursday, laughed as he anticipated the reaction to his latest work. "They'll say, ‘Oh God, it's Tom Ford taking the clothes off another person and stretching her out.'" He pointed out, however, that Estée Lauder's 1953 bombshell was more controversial in its time, although he did admit, "I like naked women, and I like naked men as well."

The new ad, pictured here, provides the first look at the hotly anticipated image, which will appear in the December editions of a handful of magazines. While Lauder executives would not discuss budgets, industry sources estimate that the global advertising spend, including scented strips, could hit $12 million, with $8 million in the U.S.

The ad campaign will support the fragrance launch; that launch will be accompanied by a 13-item line of luxury-priced cosmetics encased in heavy gold metal packaging. Branded under the Tom Ford Estée Lauder name, products will make their debut in November in only 100 doors, mostly specialty stores. The makeup items will be produced in small numbers of a limited edition, while the Amber Nude fragrance will continue on as a flanker to Youth Dew. In December, 125 doors will be added to the fragrance distribution, then another 775 doors will be added in the early part of 2006. Most of these will be in North America, although key doors will be added overseas. It is estimated that North American distribution will ultimately hit 1,000 doors.

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