When Givenchy asked Justin Timberlake to be the face of its upcoming Play for Her women’s fragrance — just as he had for the successful, earlier Play for Him version — the star found himself doing a double take.
“I said, ‘You guys should go find a woman to help put this out,’” Timberlake recalled saying.
But the idea of the commercial — a young couple cavorting on the Eiffel Tower in Paris — and the inclusion of “New Moon” actress Noot Seear won Timberlake over. “I thought, Oh that kind of makes sense,” he said during a recent interview. Another factor was his faith in Givenchy to do the right thing: “They don’t overdo it. It’s more about quality.”
The spot, produced by Pierre Morel, was filmed in two nights, during which the crew took over the Parisian landmark. The print campaign was shot by Tom Munro. Givenchy’s Play for Her, which the company hopes will hook up with the men’s version to form its biggest-selling masterbrand, is about to be launched worldwide in October. Executives declined to discuss figures, but industry sources estimate that, for Givenchy to achieve its ambitions, the men’s and women’s scents will have to generate a combined retail volume of $200 million globally for the first year following the upcoming launch. According to sources, $15 million to $20 million has been earmarked for advertising worldwide.
Givenchy is the first beauty company Timberlake has worked with and, judging from his expressed level of satisfaction, he won’t be looking for similar work at other companies. Unless, of course, the idea concerns one of his personal projects — like perhaps creating a men’s personal care line. “We definitely thought of that at William Rast,” Timberlake acknowledged, referring to his denim fashion brand. He added he is switching gears on his public participation in promoting Rast, preferring to play a more behind-the-scenes role. “I am looking forward to creating new campaigns to see where we can take it,” he said, likening his preferred role to driving a car by remote control, rather than being a passenger. “I love being creative, I just don’t necessarily think it always takes your mug to sell it, if it is good product.”
Timberlake admitted to having his hands full of projects — music, fashion and movies. He finished two films in the spring — one called “Bad Teacher,” with Cameron Diaz — and worked on another in the summer, “Friends With Benefits,” with Mila Kunis. “If I was to branch out into anything else, it would be an extension of things I already have. If there were a men’s care [line], for instance, I would push that through William Rast. With Rast, we want to make everything — we want to make furniture. I’m into everything. If it makes sense for the brands, then I will do it.”
Timberlake has help with many of these projects, while remaining in control — but when making music, he’s the only cook in the kitchen. “If you can really delve into the experience of creating something,” he said, “that’s where the success comes from.”
One of his most visible projects of the moment is the Givenchy advertising. Three weeks before the official launch, Macy’s will sell 25 bottles of the new women’s scent signed by Timberlake as a customer draw on Fashion’s Night Out Sept. 10.
Thierry Mamam, managing director of Parfums Givenchy who previously was managing director of Le Bon Marché, became animated in discussing the positioning of the scent. “The inspiration is about playfulness and modernity,” he said, noting that when the target customer “wears [the fragrance] in the morning, she turns herself into a woman who is in our world, the modern world with these sleek objects [like iPods], which are everywhere. She plunges into modernity, into a world where you have to be curious. She is more aware, ready to play games with her boyfriend. She is ready to be dazzled.”
He added, “The name is very universal. Only the dead don’t play.”
The packaging, created by Serge Mansau, was designed to look sleek and modern with a touch of bling. Jean-Christophe Gandon, general manager, added it is meant to be viewed as an accessory that can be thrown into a bag.
In terms of formula, Play for Her, shares a common note — amyris wood — with the men’s version, which was launched in August 2009. The new women’s scent comes in two versions: a “sparkling” eau de parfum in a pink bottle and a warmer Intense rendition packaged in purple. The edp has top notes of pink peppercorns, white peach and bergamot sweet pea. Intense opens with pink peppercorns and orange blossom. Pricing on the edp ranges from $47.50 for a 30-ml. bottle to $68 for 50 ml. to $79.50 for a 75-ml. size. The Intense version is $73 for a 50-ml. bottle and $85 for a 75-ml. size.
“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