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MILAN — Ferragamo Parfums is joining other Italian firms in circling the wagons.

The company broke with its usual strategy of launching major fragrances abroad, and stayed close to home for the debut of Emozione, a new women’s eau de parfum that will hit the first shelves in February. By capitalizing on the large number of foreign journalists and buyers here for women’s fashion week, Ferragamo — a Florentine brand — joined the ranks of a growing number of Italian luxury firms highlighting their “Made in Italy” identity as a survival necessity in a tough domestic market.

This story first appeared in the September 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The company’s chief executive officer Michele Norsa said the decision to introduce Emozione in Milan was significant. “It’s a pleasure to line up important events [here] as a gesture to our country,” he said. “We are a very Italian company.”

Last Friday, with fashion festivities in full swing, Ferragamo pulled out all the stops for its next fragrance pillar, hosting a celebratory dinner and bash at the 17th-century Palazzo del Senato, where Ferruccio Ferragamo, Giovanna Gentile Ferragamo, Leonardo Ferragamo and Ferragamo creative director Massimiliano Giornetti welcomed some 600 guests. Pianist Ludovico Einaudi gave a concert. Models Toni Garrn and Liu Wen, actress Vittoria Puccini, Yasmin Le Bon and dancer Emilie Fouilloux were among the beauties in attendance.

Clad in sparkling blue, model Malgosia Bela, who fronts the Emozione advertising campaign shot in black and white by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, made her entrance at the party holding a bottle of the new juice, before DJ Amber Le Bon set the crowd in motion.

“It’s about laughter and tears and everything that is important in life,” said Bela. “When I look at the [campaign] picture I see it, I see that I am touched; I see it in my expression….I don’t know why, but there is something more emotional about black and white.”

“The key was to choose ingredients that represented the history of Ferragamo, so we started off with the Florentine Iris,” said perfumer Alberto Morillas, pointedly citing one of the juice’s top notes. Other ingredients include white peach and bergamot over a heart of peony, heliotrope and Bulgarian rose, and a drydown of patchouli, white musk and a suede accord.

Emozione is for a more-mature customer than the brand’s previous Signorina franchise, which took aim at the 18 to 25 age bracket, noted Ferragamo Parfums president Luciano Bertinelli.

“This is a woman who in her look doesn’t need reassurance: She is assured, self-aware and confident,” said Bertinelli, adding: “These are two different, complementary targets — we don’t see overlap” between consumers buying Signorina and Emozione. Consequently, the new juice will cost 8 percent more retail than its predecessor, and prices are set at 59 euros, 83 euros and 109 euros respectively for 30-ml., 50-ml. and 92-ml. bottles — about $64, $76 and $140 at current exchange.

“I think [Emozione] really reflects that brief moment for us women when we’ve gotten ready, we have our plans to do something or meet someone and so forth, and there’s that fleeting moment of emotion,” said Gentile Ferragamo.

The Emozione rollout will kick off in Italy and the EU, and Ferragamo Parfums “is thinking of giving an American department store” a March exclusive, Bertinelli said. The fragrance will reach an estimated 15,000 doors worldwide by about October 2015, when it will reach stores in China. The ad campaign will follow internationally, and select markets — such as Italy — will also have TV.

While Bertinelli would not comment on Emozione’s first-year sales figures, he indicated the goal was to match Signorina’s, which industry sources estimated to be about 55 million euros in retail sales, or about $70 million at current exchange.

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