MILAN — The potential sale of Roberto Cavalli’s fashion company is not putting the brakes on the launch of his latest fragrance, his second pillar under a license with Coty.
This story first appeared in the November 14, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Demure has never been part of the Florentine designer’s vocabulary, and Roberto Cavalli Paradiso, which will debut internationally in early 2015, is faithful to his unabashed love of color and sensuality. “Paradiso is about a moment of happiness. I wanted to give a feeling of that instant when you feel totally at ease,” explained Cavalli. He emphasized that there was no religious connotation intended in the perfume’s name, and that, personally, he associates paradise with love, Italy, his own home, feeling fulfilled and “being with the woman I love.”
Still, while the new eau de parfum taps into that same hedonistic vibe Cavalli has always made his calling card, the advertising imagery hints at an interest in reeling in a slightly younger demographic, said Lorenzo Marini, an advertising veteran and the founder and owner of Lorenzo Marini Group Milano and the New York–based Lorenzo Marini Associates LLC.
Shot by Mario Sorrenti in a swimming pool with a mosaic floor, the images show model Edita Vilkeviciute stretched out in the nude, covered just enough by a strategically placed knee and layers of metallic necklaces to maintain her modesty, while a vibrantly colored parrot stretches its wings from above. The animal element — ever dear to Cavalli — also emerges through a large, iridescent pendant of monkeys and leaves around the model’s neck. A television commercial shot by Jonas Åkerlund plays with the same visual cues.
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“I think this campaign is a lot more interesting than the previous one, with all the gold references,” said Marini, referring to the 2012 campaign with Elisa Sednaoui in a tawny jungle print dress as “older.”
“This is a real earthly paradise, with the water that gives a sense of rebirth, all the while maintaining the brand’s core characteristics,” Marini said. He noted that various other luxury brands, such as Dior, also had dripped their ad campaigns in gold, making the images from Cavalli’s first campaign with Coty less original. The name Paradiso, Marini added, works well because it emphasizes the brand’s Italian identity while being comprehensible to customers internationally, and the bottle’s clean lines and diamond cap provide a more classic touch.
“In advertising, we talk about touch points and building a full package around a product. This package seems very well executed and coherent to me,” he said.
“The previous scent was more in the territory of seduction, sexiness, glamour,” acknowledged Coty group vice president of marketing Caroline Javoy. “This is another side of the brand that tries to capture that feeling we have when we’re on vacation.” She noted the green-gold color scheme on the packaging was intended to be suggestive of the sun setting over the Mediterranean, given Cavalli’s love of the sea.
Javoy would not discuss sales projections, but various industry sources suggested Paradiso could hit $40 million in retail sales in its first year on shelf.
Louise Turner of Givaudan devised the woody floral. Rollout will begin in the travel retail segment this December in the Middle East, said Javoy. From there, the scent will reach stores in Italy and Spain in January, the Middle East and Africa region in February and the rest of the world, except the U.S. and U.K., throughout the remainder of the year. Prices for the edp are set at 48 euros, or $51, for the 30-ml. bottle; 68 euros, or $85, for the 50-ml. bottle; and 88 euros, or $110, for the 75-ml. bottle.
As reported, Cavalli has signed a letter of intent to sell a 60 percent stake in his company to VTB Capital, according to market sources, and the deal is expected to go through soon.