Courage, freedom, independence and faith in the future are the values women should say “sì” (the Italian word for “yes”) to, said Véronique Gautier, global president Giorgio Armani Fragrances & Beauty, in an interview on Tuesday.
Giorgio Armani’s beauty and fragrance brand, which is produced and distributed under license by L’Oréal, is launching the second edition of the Sì Women’s Circle, a digital project focusing on high-profile women who have said yes to their aspirations and can share their stories with women around the world. Two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett is the face of both the Sì fragrance introduced last year and of this initiative.
“The Sì Women’s Circle is creating an opportunity for dialogue, a network, for women who are facing particular challenges in their careers or personal lives and finding a common ground,” said Blanchett. “I hope people who engage with the Circle online will come to understand that even though we might do different things, come from different places, we, as women, often face similar challenges and obstacles. Hearing the stories of other women can be an inspiration to help guide us and make our own decisions.”
In 2017, Blanchett will be supported by a high-standing team of international powerful women, active in different businesses. The list includes former model and founder of Africa-focused Sunu Journal Amy Sall; Gary Pepper Girl’s founder and digital influencer Nicole Warne; lawyer, writer and entrepreneur Rachel Sklar; model and artistic director Sofía Sanchez de Betak, known as “Chufy,” as well as technology entrepreneur Ulla Engeström.
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“They are women that strike a chord through their personalities, independence and courage to pursue their aspirations in various fields,” Armani said. “Real women who perfectly embody the brand’s values.”
These five women will post a series of videos on Giorgio Armani’s social networks and on their own digital platforms. They will share moments and episodes about their personal lives to encourage women to take control of their present and future by affirming their personality and expressing their sensibilities.
“Sì is a state of mind. It’s the way you wake up every day and approach life. It means being positive, embracing and standing up for things. The first thing on my mind in the morning is always: there is a lot to do. I get up trying to have fun, to get my projects moving along. I don’t hide in bed, even if it’s not always a fun trip,” said Sanchez de Betak. “When you are at a crossroad, you can choose one way or the other, but you must always look at the positive outcome. When I have a choice to make, I am certain at first, then I have doubts and think it over, but then I go back to my first intuitive choice.”
The promotion and showcase of mere beauty has never been part of the Giorgio Armani Beauty strategies, according to Gautier. “The whole company has always been focused on defining an empowered femininity for real women,” she said, highlighting the fil rouge among the different activities developed by the group.
In order to strengthen the engaging power of the Sì Women’s Circle, along with the international ambassadors, Armani will also tap local personalities in the different markets.
Gautier, who revealed that new products and initiatives related to the Sì line will be unveiled at the beginning of next year, said that the fragrance features two different customer targets — under 25 years old and over 45 years old.
“Young women look at Cate Blanchett as an aspirational model, while the more mature ones recognize themselves in her,” said Gautier, explaining that the juice itself attracts different types of women because of its composition. “The top notes are very seductive and addictive, while the powdery base notes express pure elegance.”
Ranked in the list of the 10 best-selling fragrances worldwide, Sì was the seventh-most-sold perfume in Europe last year, according to Gautier.
In terms of markets, the manager said that “Asia is flying, the United States are more challenging in terms of fragrances, even if we maintain our leadership with Acqua di Giò, and Europe is consistent everywhere.”
While the foundation category is growing really fast, “we have an explosion of the lipstick segment,” Gautier explained.
In order to “double the online sales by next year,” Gautier said that Giorgio Armani Beauty e-commerce, which launched in the U.S. last July and was extended to the U.K. in January, will be available in the rest of Europe in the next 12 months.
The company is also boosting its retail business with the opening of new Armani Box pop-up stores in the different markets. The project, which kicked off in Paris and then was developed at London’s Covent Garden, will roll out in Asia in the next months. Conceived as red boxes, mainly offering beauty products, the Armani Box pop-up stores feature Uri, the replica of the original gorilla statue that Armani owns in his private home, welcoming visitors at the entrance. Uri is also reproduced on a series of lipsticks, which are available in exclusive at the pop-up shops.