MILAN — The potential sale of his fashion company is not putting the brakes on the launch of Roberto Cavalli’s latest fragrance, his second pillar under a license with Coty, which also produces the Just Cavalli fragrance line.
Roberto Cavalli Paradiso, which will be introduced internationally in early 2015, serves up a fresh take on his brand of in-your-face sensuality.
“Paradiso is about a moment of happiness. I wanted to give a feeling of that instant when you feel totally at ease,” said 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 both Lorenzo Marini Group, Milano, and Lorenzo Marini Associates LLC, New York.
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, hung 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.” 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, he observed.
“This is a real earthly paradise, with the water that gives a sense of rebirth, all the while maintaining the brand’s core characteristics,” he said. The name Paradiso, Marini added, works well because it emphasizes the brand’s Italian identity while also being comprehensible to customers internationally. 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 that the green-gold color scheme on the packaging was intended to be suggestive of the sun setting over the Mediterranean, an idea inspired by 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, which kicks off with citrus, bergamot and mandarin orange and follows with a jasmine heart and a drydown chord of cypress, pink laurel and parasol pine.
Rollout will begin in the travel retail segment this December in the Middle East, said Javoy, who stressed the region is a “phenomenal” sales driver for the Roberto Cavalli brand. From there, the scent will reach stores in Italy and Spain in January 2015, the Africa region in February and the rest of the world, except the U.S. and U.K., throughout the remainder of the year. A precise door count is pending but should mirror the selective reach of Cavalli’s signature fragrance.
Prices for the edp are set at 48 euros, or $60.50 at current exchange, for the 30-ml. bottle; 68 euros, or $86, for the 50-ml. bottle; and 88 euros, or $111, 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. There are currently 96 Roberto Cavalli boutiques worldwide, but the designer has expanded well beyond fashion into a lifestyle business that spans from fragrance, eyewear and a home collection to cafés, lounges and nightclubs. In 2013, the firm reported sales of 201 million euros, or $265.3 million, up 9.3 percent compared with the previous year.