MILAN — In Versace’s world, a fighter can just as easily throw a punch as sweetly kiss a fluffy kitten.
That is the imagery created by Donatella Versace and captured by Bruce Weber to support the launch of the new men’s fragrance, Versace pour homme Dylan Blue. Licensed to Euroitalia, the scent will be exclusively introduced at Harrods on July 26 and then rolled out in the U.S. in early August, followed by Europe in September.
“I love how Dylan Blue captures such an evocative world of Versace masculinity. I have always believed men should be strong, passionate, proud, expressive, unafraid,” the designer told WWD. “I love that in today’s world, men feel able to reveal their true natures, to share their passions and their beliefs. It’s there in the fragrance, which is strong, fresh, seductive. It is there in the bottle design, which is powerful, distinctive. It is there in the beautiful, individual young men who feature in the campaign. It is there in the martial arts fighters who appear, and who prove their strength every day.”
The clean-cut bottle is in a Mediterranean blue with a golden cap. The brand’s staple Medusa head in gold stands out in the center.
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A short film will also be released with the ad campaign out later this week, styled by Joe McKenna and featuring Gigi Hadid and male models Trevor Signorino, Alan Jouban, Louis Solywoda and Filip Sjunnesson. The cast of fighters include Nic Thompson, Travis Conover, Adam von Rothfelder, Lukasz Grabowski and Levi Morgan. The photos emphasize the sculpted bodies, as well as the male universe represented by wheeling motorcycles, for example.
“Today, men are able to express themselves more than ever before,” Versace continued. “It’s in who they love, how they work, what they believe, what they stand for. And it is there in the work of Bruce Weber, a photographer who knows the Versace world like no other.” Weber, who has worked with the brand in the past, also photographed Versace’s men’s and women’s fashion ad campaign for fall. He attended the brand’s men’s show in June and the designer later hosted a dinner in his honor.
“I’ve been watching lots of movies lately where the actors are mixed martial arts fighters. It seems like they are always proving themselves, so that the women characters will fall in love with them,” Weber said. “ I thought it would be interesting to do some photographs and make a film that dealt with this kind of relationship. Many women I know really respect the sensitivity and vulnerability of men. I wanted to show that men can have these qualities while remaining very strong and disciplined — like great athletes — and still fall in love with the girl of their dreams. For me, Versace has always represented this kind of driving passion. That’s why I’ve always loved working with them — they give photographers and filmmakers like me the freedom to imagine a big life.”
Dylan Blue is a fougère fragrance with a woody aroma. At the top of the formula are bergamot from Calabria, the Italian region where the Versaces hail from, grapefruit, fig leaves and aquatic notes. Violet leaves, black pepper, papyrus wood, ambrox and organic patchouli make up the heart. The base has musk with mineral accents, tonka beans, saffron and pyrogéné incense.
Euroitalia president Giovanni Sgariboldi said Dylan Blue will be available at all Versace boutiques and distributed in 15,000 selected doors globally. Sgariboldi was upbeat about the strength of the Versace brand and expressed confidence that Dylan Blue will be a success. Industry sources estimate the new fragrance to reach wholesale sales of 40 million euros, or $44.2 million at current exchange rate.
Eau de toilette retail prices range from 37 British pounds, or $49, for the 1-oz. bottle, to 101 British pounds, or $133.80, for the 6.7-oz. bottle. The line also includes after shave balm, deodorant and perfumed bath and shower gel.
Euroitalia has been Versace’s licensee since 2005. Previous men’s Versace fragrances produced by Euroitalia included Eros and Oud Noir in 2012; Pour Homme in 2008, and Man Eau Fraiche in 2005.
“The Versace fragrances are today among the top 10 bestsellers in the world, in particular in countries such as the U.S., Russia, China and in many European markets, as well as in all duty-free [units],” Sgariboldi said. The executive also weighed in on Weber, observing that he “represents moments of real life with images and videos that go beyond advertisement.”
In order to grow market share this year, Sgariboldi said the company “must remain concentrated on the development of innovative products and present novelties that really are so.”
The main challenge is to guarantee the highest quality, “paying particular attention to distribution and safeguarding the selective perfumery market in all possible ways.” He said Euroitalia is “preparing for 2017 with a very ambitious and demanding program,” adding that the company is also readying several launches that will help fuel further growth in 2018.