Tom Ford Beauty’s first store — which opens Nov. 20 in London’s Covent Garden — is everything one would expect from the designer.
Never one for subtlety, customers who enter the new Tom Ford Beauty boutique will be greeted by LED screens projecting bustier-clad pin-ups photographed from the waist down, sitting with strategically placed bottles of eau de parfum “F–king Fabulous” between their legs.
At least the word “F–king” is blacked out.
“The…client wants an emotional experience. They want to connect with our products in a sensorial way. They want to combine, mix and layer our fragrances and cosmetics to make them their own. Now they will finally have the perfect place to do that,” Tom Ford said of the only offline presence dedicated solely to his namesake beauty range.
The store concept — a confluence of technology and the over-the-top glam with which Ford has become synonymous — is the designer’s vision entirely. Fragrance, color and grooming will have dedicated rooms within the two level, 1,400-square-foot boutique, showcasing the full range of product in each category as well as offering services that Ford called “impeccable and high-tech.” Decor includes the aforementioned LED screens installed in the front windows to showcase recent launches and campaigns as well as product merchandised on white marble slabs and illuminated in “halos of light.”
“Any time I design something, whether it’s a shoe or a lipstick or a bag or a fragrance, I really use it, or try it. And I look at it. I think, ‘Do I need this, do I want this, do women need this? Do I believe in this?’” Ford replied when asked why he thinks his brand resonates with consumers.
Apparently his customers really want (and need) F–king Fabulous. The eau de parfum, priced at $310 for 50 ml., is expected to exceed sales projections this year by 20 times. It will soon surpass Soleil Blanc as the biggest Private Blend launch to date. The fragrance launched in limited quantities on Sept. 6 and sold out in a day, and was quickly brought back for a limited time before distribution was broadened to meet customer demand. The scent is also a key growth driver in the brand’s Private Blend fragrance business, which is growing at a rate of 30 percent.
Tom Ford Beauty’s is one of the industry’s fastest-growing brands, and according to an industry source, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brand is now on track to hit $1 billion in sales before 2019, more than a year ahead of schedule.
Guillaume Jesel, global brand president, Tom Ford Beauty, declined to comment on projections but said the brand grew more than 50 percent last year, fueled by Private Blend fragrances and the lip category.
“My goal is for Tom Ford to be a $2 billion brand and this is the next step to get there,” Ford told WWD.
And the brand might very well be on its way.