MILAN — Just months after the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and Ermenegildo Zegna unveiled their Essenze quintet of men’s fragrances, they announced a new men’s eau de toilette, Ermenegildo Zegna Uomo, which will hit stores this coming spring.
This story first appeared in the November 30, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Uomo will be a pillar in Zegna’s fragrance portfolio, according to Lauder’s president and chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda. “It will be much bigger than anything that has been done in the past in Zegna fragrances. There is no comparison,” he said in an interview at the fashion brand’s international headquarters on Via Savona. “The juice wants to reflect the best of the Italian ideals, the Made in Italy concept, the Made in Italy style, the Made in Italy values, but with the maximum possible appeal around the globe.”
Lauder took over the Zegna license from L’Oréal in July 2011. Men’s fragrances currently represent 35 percent of the American company’s global perfume business, and luxury and men’s fragrances are the fastest-growing categories, so expectations for Zegna — a men’s luxury brand — are high, said Freda. He declined to provide an estimate, but industry sources said the fragrance could bring in $150 million at retail in its first 12 months.
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Gildo Zegna, ceo of Ermenegildo Zegna and grandson of its founder, said he wanted fragrances to become a big part of the company’s global business.
“You buy a fragrance, you buy a dream. And it’s easier to sell dreams with fragrances than with fashion,” said Zegna.
He added that the company is actively courting new customers in China, where it has been present since the early Nineties, and in the U.S., where a new generation of young men is open to discovering fashion through fragrance.
The fragrance contains the citrus bergamot grown at Zegna’s own fields in Calabria, Italy, as well as Violettyne Captive, the essence of violet leaves. Other notes include vetiver and cedarwood.
Model Ryan Burns stars in a print campaign shot by Matthew Brookes and a commercial directed by Jonas Åkerlund. The mostly black-and-white images show Burns driving a convertible along the craggy cliffs of Capri, mounting the steps of Casa Malaparte and joining his dream woman on the roof. The bottle, a glass pillar with horizontal linear grooves, is evocative of the house.
Uomo targets men of all ages who share, “this really deep passion for life, this deep belief that they can become who they fully are, that they can achieve the best in their lives, and they want to work at it,” said Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, global brand president of Lauder’s Aramis & Designer Fragrances division.
She also said Lauder and Zegna would focus heavily on digital promotion of Uomo. “Men don’t ask for directions,” she quipped. “They love to get their own information first, and so the digital platform becomes very important.”
Uomo will be distributed in department stores and perfumeries worldwide starting in spring 2013, with the exception of Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, the Middle East, the U.S., France and China, where it will arrive in the fall. Key markets for the fragrance include Mexico, Germany, Italy, China, Australia and the U.S. The edt will be available in three sizes: 3.4-oz. ($80); 1.7-oz. ($66), and 1-oz. ($48). A 3.4-oz. aftershave lotion and balm will sell for $56, while the 6.8-oz. hair and body wash will sell for $39.