After an initial infatuation with his best-selling Daisy scent, Marc Jacobs has a new girl: Lola.
This story first appeared in the May 8, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The new women’s fragrance is due out in the fall and brings a whole new personality to the party. “Where Daisy is more innocent and sweet, Lola is more sensual — the name conjures up a flirtatious, warm spirit,” said the designer in a phone interview Wednesday. “It was the first thing that came to my mind, and I was very insistent with Coty that this had to be the concept. It just felt natural in contrast to Daisy.”
Where Daisy Marc Jacobs — which was launched in 2007 and helped catapult the designer’s fragrance house to worldwide prominence — works its girlish charm, Lola is intended to be the confident and slightly vampy older sister, the designer added.
The distinction was particularly important to Jacobs, who sees fragrance as an integral part of a person’s style. “Fragrance is just as important as accessories, bags and shoes are,” said Jacobs. “Not only does it help set a mood, it’s a luxury you can have no matter what your size or height or wallet. I’m happy to keep offering more choices. I know I like to rotate fragrances depending on my mood.”
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Lola, which Jacobs developed with Calice Becker of Givaudan and Ann Gottlieb, opens with pink peppercorn, pear d’anjou and ruby red grapefruit. Its heart is of fuchsia peony, rose and geranium, and the drydown is of vanilla, tonka bean and creamy musk.
The scent will launch at Bloomingdale’s in August for a monthlong exclusive (it will also be available in Marc Jacobs stores in the U.S. at that time), then will roll out to its remaining U.S. distribution — about 2,200 department and specialty store doors — in September. It will also commence globally that month.
At launch, the collection will include eaux de parfum in two sizes — 1.7 oz. for $65 and 3.4 oz. for $85 — as well as a 5.1 oz. body lotion, $45; a 5.1-oz. shower gel, $40, and a 4.9-oz. body cream, $50. In November, a 1-oz. (for which a retail price has not yet been finalized) will join the permanent Lola collection, as will a limited edition solid perfume ring, $40. Both are intended to “reenergize the brand for holiday,” said Claire Fermont Langlais, senior marketing director for Marc Jacobs fragrances at Coty Prestige, adding that the brand will anniversary the ring’s debut with another Jacobs accessory.
In an unusual step, Lola’s bottles differ in shape according to their size. The 1.7-oz. bottle is tall and curvy, while the 3.4-oz. is wider and rounded. Both are topped with riotous free-form flowers of violet, fuchsia and red. “I had a color palette in mind from a cruise collection I was working on at the time,” said Jacobs of the cap design. “I started playing around with fabrics and swatches of leather, and that became the basis for the cap.”
Of the decision to create different bottle shapes for the 1.7-oz. and 3.4-oz. scents, Jacobs noted: “I don’t know all the rules and regulations of the perfume world. Robert [Duffy, Jacobs’ business partner] and I have always operated by instinct. We don’t design by calculators. I don’t know if we’re right or wrong, but I’ve learned over the years to trust my instincts. The bottle was a whim, and it came together.”
Jacobs was also driven to break the rules: the 1.7-oz. bottle would have been very difficult to scale up, due to the weight of the glass and base of the bottle. “It came from a tech nical restriction but feeds into my own creativity,” said Jacobs.
Outer boxes are matte black with a glossy flower icon and gold-stamped name.
Advertising, featuring a casually sexy Karlie Kloss and photographed by Juergen Teller, will break in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. “I’ve always worked with Juergen — he understands all of the facets of my women, and I told him I was very interested in Karlie,” said Jacobs. “She has a young and fresh look with a little bit of naughtiness in her eyes — like she’s not a true vamp, but it might be a role she’d like to play.”
A bottle shot — featuring the 1.7-oz. and 3.4-oz. scents in a white featherbed — will be used with scented magazine print advertising. “It’s intended to be a wink at conventional fragrance ads,” noted Lori Singer, group vice president of global marketing for Coty Prestige Designer Fragrances.
While Jacobs and Coty executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that Lola could do upwards of $75 million at retail globally, with about 40 percent of that figure expected to be done in the U.S. Industry sources also estimated Coty would spend about $30 million globally — with half of that budget in the U.S. — on advertising and promotion.
Coty also plans to introduce a silver edition to Daisy Marc Jacobs this fall. “Daisy is really the scent that took Marc’s fragrance brand from being a niche player to widespread global success,” said Singer, “and we want to continue to energize that business.” The opaque silver bottle, a limited edition eau de parfum, is topped with gold-tone flowers and will retail for $88 for 3.4 oz. It will be available in Daisy’s full distribution beginning in September. While executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that Daisy’s silver edition could do $10 million at retail globally, with about $3 million of that expected to come from the U.S. market. “We strongly believe in our prestige designer pillar,” said Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American fragrances for Coty Prestige. “This category is showing consistent growth, and we are very proud to have such a strong portfolio. Specifically, Marc Jacobs as a brand has so much global appeal and his explosive creativity is just what people want.”
“Every time we’ve redone the Daisy bottle [the scent has had several versions since its launch], we’ve seen a jump in business,” added Jacobs. “I feel like there’s something fetishistic or collectible about a fragrance bottle — I love seeing an assortment of them on a dressing table.”
However, business isn’t Jacobs’ only preoccupation these days. He is also preparing to marry his ad-executive fiancé, Lorenzo Martone, this summer. “We’ve set a wedding month,” said Jacobs. “Robert [Duffy] will host our wedding in Provincetown [Mass.] at his house. We’ve had trouble narrowing it down to a day, what with the Met Ball, CFDA, the FiFi’s and everything else on our social calendars — and Robert’s house is being photographed for a magazine spread. So, in theory, we will be June grooms — but we are going to wait till we get through more of these events to set an exact day.”