MILAN — The fashion director of Japanese Vogue, Anna Dello Russo, has bottled her blogging success. Her namesake fragrance is set to roll out in December exclusively online with the Italian e-tailer Yoox.
This story first appeared in the October 22, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
As the fragrance industry hunts for clues as to how to reignite the sector and appeal to a new generation of users, Dello Russo is tapping into interesting territory as well marking out a new one for fashion editors.
“My fragrance is a gadget; it’s a mass-market toy. I wanted to create something pop,” said Dello Russo, who spent 18 years at Condé Nast Italia as fashion editor of Vogue Italia and editor of L’Uomo Vogue before leaving the Italian editorial group in 2006.
After launching her blog earlier this year — the site receives some 200,000 hits every month — Dello Russo admits new forms of communication intrigue her. “The Web has changed the rules of fashion — there now exists another world online,” she said, fielding calls from her well-publicized Milan apartment. “It’s the moment for an individual voice. Communication is going in this direction, and it’s why the perfume came about.” Art director Ronnie Cooke Newhouse is credited with planting the seed in Dello Russo’s mind.
Perfumer Adlen Moumene from Firmenich created the scent, which is described as a vanilla cream and blends the ingredients almonds and vanilla, inspired by Dello Russo’s childhood in Puglia and memories of her grandmother’s kitchen.
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The scent’s bottle is a gold shoe, reminiscent of Cinderella’s slipper. “For 20 years no one noticed me — I worked like Cinderella at the bottom of the pile. Finally I’ve been invited to the ball,” she said referring to her fairy-tale blogosphere fame at the age of 47, and a flurry of commercial offers.
Dello Russo explained she wanted the scent flacon to fit in a clutch bag and to reference a Christmas bauble. A loop affixed to the bottle’s heel will allow users to hang it from a tree. Its art direction is by Marco Braga and Giuliano Federico from the agency Modecracy.
The pocket-sized 10-ml. scent will retail for $25.
According to industry sources, when the news broke about plans to develop her signature juice, stores including Selfridges, Colette, Lane Crawford and the Japanese retailer Restir contacted Dello Russo. On her decision to sell only online she said, “I was born online and want to stay online, plus Yoox believed in me at the beginning,” referring to a line of T-shirts featuring her image that sold out in three hours on the retailer’s site.
Yoox’s founder and chief executive officer, Federico Marchetti, said, “Yoox.com is a global communication and distribution platform perfect for young designers, editors and artists that want to experiment.” Although he declined to break out sales figures, he said the company “expects volumes” with regards to sales of the Anna Dello Russo scent. Yoox.com receives 6 million unique monthly visitors.
“I want to do a record next,” said Dello Russo when asked about her forthcoming plans. “Everyone expects me to do a clothes line. It’s too obvious. I want to do the opposite.”