MATTIOLO GETS ROMANTIC FOR FIRST SCENT

Byline: A.B.B.

MILAN — Gai Mattiolo, a 28-year-old Italian designer, is making his first foray into fragrance.
The designer is using the time-tested imagery of romance to lure women to his scent, called simply, Gai Mattiolo. The bottle is etched with hearts, evoking the designer’s use of a heart motif in his collections, and an ad campaign features a beautiful witch who uses the perfume as her love potion.
Manufactured and distributed by ICR of Lodi, Italy, Gai Mattiolo will roll out to 800 Italian perfumeries and to doors in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Portugal and the Mideast this month.
ICR’s Pardis subsidiary will market the scent in Germany and Austria. Princess Marcella Borghese will handle distribution in the U.S., where a launch is scheduled in time for Valentine’s Day 1998.
According to Teresa Townsend, president of Borghese, “We plan to start out with about 350 department and specialty store doors.”
ICR, which took over the Italian distribution of the Borghese brand in April, projects global sales of $6 million at retail (10 billion lire) for the new fragrance this year, and between $14.7 million and $17.7 million (25 billion to 30 billion lire) in 1998.
The company will invest about 50 percent of sales volume in advertising and promotion, according to Roberto Martone, president of ICR. “We have an aggressive three-year plan in place for the line,” he said. “By Christmas 1998, we plan to launch a signature men’s scent, followed by a youthful or unisex scent a year later.”
Mattiolo, who was born in Rome, said he became fascinated with fashion at the age of 10 and by 18 had presented his first ready-to-wear collection here.
The designer’s two rtw lines are sold in about 840 doors worldwide, including his nine boutiques in Europe and Asia. The designer also has showrooms here and in Paris, Dusseldorf and New York.
“I entered the project inspired by my typical client — a glamorous, yet ironic and playful woman,” said Mattiolo. “If the perfume is a success, I’ll continue to follow my impulses.”
Mattiolo added that he plans to launch the men’s scent next year “in conjunction with my first men’s wear collection.”
The six-item line ranges from a 15-ml. eau de toilette spray for $20 (34,000 lire) to a 300-ml. bath and shower gel for $25.93 (44,000 lire) and a 100-ml. eau de toilette spray for $64.82 (110,000 lire).
Siris, an ad agency based here, collaborated on the new fragrance’s print and point-of-sale campaigns, which were shot by fashion photographer David La Chapelle in Los Angeles in June. The spots will begin running in October.

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