NOW SMELL THIS: Call it eau de nightclubbing. Only four seasons into showing on the couture runway, Alexandre Vauthier has developed a signature scent with perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, the nose behind Jean Paul Gaultier’s hit fragrance Le Mâle. “He wanted something metallic that smelled of fur,” Kurkdjian said. This translated into a voluptuous rose and jasmine accord, with a touch of spice and a green aldehydic metallic note. So far, only a handful of bottles of the scent — with the working title “AV1” — have been produced for Vauthier’s models and clients to wear.

This story first appeared in the July 6, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

BEDBUGS BITE AT A&F: Abercrombie & Fitch’s bedbug problems continued over the weekend with the closing of the Abercrombie & Fitch store in the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan. An employee who answered the phone on Monday said the store is not expected to reopen until Friday and directed customers to the flagship at 720 Fifth Avenue, which had been tested and is not affected, according to the company. Meanwhile, A&F said it eliminated the bedbug problem in its Hollister flagship on the corner of Houston Street and Broadway in SoHo, and reopened it Saturday after being closed since Wednesday. The company said it requested guidance from the mayor’s office on how businesses in Manhattan should deal with the issue. Bedbugs are tiny, rust-colored insects that are attracted to body warmth, suck blood, and have become an epidemic in New York.

ARTISTIC DIFFERENCES: Art and fashion are perfect bedfellows if you ask just about any luxury brand these days. Nearly every marquee fashion label imaginable has collaborated with an artist at one point or another. But there was definitely a collision between the two spheres in Japan recently. Louis Vuitton asked the Kobe Fashion Museum to remove a series of artworks by Mitsuhiro Okamoto from a recent group exhibition called “Fashion Kitan,” a museum spokeswoman confirmed. The artist constructed stuffed models of locusts from LV and Gucci logoed canvas as well as one in quilted leather à la Chanel. The museum spokeswoman confirmed that it removed the items from its display cases early last month, several weeks before the exhibition closed. A Vuitton Japan spokeswoman confirmed the company’s intellectual property department contacted the museum but declined further comment on the issue. For his part, Okamoto posted a statement on his Web site entitled “Louis Vuitton destroys culture!” He said the French company also asked the museum to stop selling his show catalogue and take down his exhibition posters. “Louis Vuitton has begun fighting with me…soon we may be in court,” he wrote. “I wonder why Louis Vuitton cannot distinguish between artwork and fake name brand bags….I think this is a serious infringement on freedom of expression, don’t you think so?”

A FRESH FACE AT HUGO BOSS: Actor Orlando Bloom will front Boss Orange for men, a forthcoming fragrance from P&G Prestige Products’ Hugo Boss Fragrances brand. It will be the first men’s scent under the Boss Orange name, and follows last year’s launch of Boss Orange Woman, which is represented by actress Sienna Miller. “Boss Orange is a brand I immediately identified with because it has a laid-back, spontaneous quality I relate to,” said Bloom. The British actor has appeared in the film series “The Lord of the Rings” as well as “Pirates of the Caribbean.” His films in production include “The Three Musketeers” and “Main Street” with Colin Firth. In addition to his acting career, Bloom serves as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is engaged to model Miranda Kerr. He also has appeared in a television commercial for Shiseido’s Uno grooming brand for men.


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