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MILAN — Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott’s entrée into the fragrance world was unlikely to be conventional, given that the designer has mined Barbie, SpongeBob Squarepants and candy wrappers for inspiration in his recent ready-to-wear collections.

This story first appeared in the November 14, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

 

So for his first Moschino fragrance, Scott fashioned a teddy bear as the bottle for the eau de toilette — called Toy — and then packaged the bear in a carton that looks plucked from the shelves of Toys ‘R’ Us. Scott said the bear is both an homage to the teddy-bear dress that Franco Moschino designed in the late Eighties, and Scott’s own “love affair” with teddy bears in his work. “I’d never seen a stuffed animal perfume bottle before — and I felt like I was then obliged to do it,” deadpanned the designer.

His signature sense of fun, Scott believed, was missing from the fragrance sphere. “All fragrances, you go across the board and it’s basically always sexy, nude, sexy, so I thought there’s definitely humor missing,” he said. “And I like to make objects that are unique and desirable. After the fragrance is used up, there has to be a reason you want to keep it.”

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The new Toy edt was a challenge for Moschino licensing partner Euroitalia, which began working with the fashion brand in 1985 and also creates scents for the Moschino Cheap and Chic line. “We worked intensely on this project,” said Euroitalia president Giovanni Sgariboldi, noting Scott’s “truly unusual” approach would transform the partnership, especially with the focus on making the fragrance bottle into a collectible item.

Distribution will become more selective, Sgariboldi noted, with an estimated 5,000 doors to carry Toy worldwide; by comparison, previous Moschino scents had been available in about twice as many stores. The executive said key markets would remain Italy, the U.K., Germany, the U.S., Russia, China and the Middle East, but the new creative direction could lead to “pleasant surprises” in other regions.

“We’re launching with a worldwide preview at Harrods in London [this week] through Nov. 23, then we’ll move on to Italy with an exclusive at La Rinascente in Milan starting Dec. 3,” Sgariboldi said, noting the juice would be available in Italy’s top perfumeries early next year. Elsewhere in the EU, the fragrance will arrive in time for Christmas, before hitting shelves in remaining international markets next year. In addition, for the first time, the fragrance will be sold in Moschino boutiques worldwide and on the brand’s Web site.

In fact, since Scott first posted images of the bottle and ad campaign on his Instagram account Nov. 9, the fragrance has sold out on the site and garnered thousands of “likes” from Scott’s and Moschino’s followers.
Yet Scott said he doesn’t have social-media appeal in mind when he designs. “I was this way before social media existed — social media was invented for my designs, let’s say it that way!” he said with a laugh. “My work translates very well in that form…because it’s superphotogenic, it makes an impact [and sends] a clear message.”

Sgariboldi would not reveal sales projections, but with the 50-ml. bottle-in-a-bear retailing for 98 euros, or about $122 at current exchange, industry sources suggested that the edt might do $10 million in wholesale sales in its first year in stores.

The designer described the juice itself, which he sees as unisex, as “a little bit woodsy, and at the same time there’s something techno about it.” Scott worked closely with Euroitalia, providing visuals that he felt could “emote” his vision for the fragrance. Top notes include bergamot, mandarin and cardamom, with a heart of lavender, violet petals and hawthorn, and a drydown of sandalwood, vanilla, mountain tree moss and acacia.

Steven Meisel shot the ad campaign, which pictures Isabeli Fontana in a teddy-bear-trimmed dress that Scott designed as a tribute to the Moschino original. Meisel also shot a television commercial for the scent, featuring Fontana.

 

Following a social media blitz earlier this week, Jeremy Scott made an appearance at Harrods in London Thursday, to officially launch the fragrance.  Before introducing the eau-de-toilette to a number of beauty editors, the designer met over 100 fans — and signed their fragrance boxes — in the department store’s Black Hall. “People flew in from Singapore, Hong Kong, one girl got up at three in the morning – I forget how many trains she took – but there were so many lovely people,” said Scott.

During his Harrods appearance, the designer suggested there could eventually be “different generations” of the bear fragrance in the future, with the bear wearing “different looks.” The existing teddy wears a T–shirt bearing the  words “This is Not a Moschino Toy.” Scott also noted that one of his many celebrity fans, Miley Cyrus, would also be getting a preview of the scent. “When I land [in the U.S] next Sunday it’s [Cyrus’] birthday…so I will be bringing her one. It will be her birthday present,” he said.

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