Italy Coty Prestige unveiled the new signature feminine fragrance from the house of Roberto Cavalli. The official reveal took place at the Cavalli private villa in Florence, at a press conference attended by Roberta and Eva Cavalli, Coty Prestige President Michele Scannavini, and fragrance face Elisa Sednaoui. The scent will be launched worldwide, both in domestic and travel retail markets, from February 2012. The brand has been earmarked as another global pillar for the Coty group. "We want to establish Cavalli as a global brand from the beginning; it’s not going to be niche. It’s going to be big, global, and well distributed in all continents. We want to make it a top 20 brand." Coty Prestige Senior Vice President Commercial Jean Mortier The Cavalli beauty licence was previously held by ICR-ITF. “This [introduction] is just the beginning of the rebirth of the house of Cavalli, and will be followed by other launches,” Coty Prestige Senior Vice President Commercial Jean Mortier told The Moodie Report, during an interview conducted at the event. “We want to establish Cavalli as a global brand from the beginning; it’s not going to be niche. It’s going to be big, global, and well distributed in all continents. We want to make it a top 20 brand.” The fragrance embodies all the codes of the Cavalli brand and, as expected, reflects the designer's well-known love of animal print. A tiger features in the TV ad campaign, and face Sednaoui wears a tiger print gown. "I am honestly so excited about this launch," declared Roberto Cavalli at the press conference. "Today I open my house to all of you, and show you my lifestyle, to help explain more clearly what Roberto Cavalli is all about. I am sure this new fragrance will be a big success." “This is so emotional for us,” noted Eva Cavalli, “and I want to thank Michele and the Coty team for everything they have done. It’s been hard work, but also a lot of fun…We are very proud of this fragrance.” Glamour and sensuality were recurring themes. Eva described Sednaoui as the perfect embodiment of the Cavalli woman. “She is beautiful, with a stunning body and hypnotic eyes,” she explained. “The Cavalli woman is strong, sensual and secure, knows exactly what she wants and can get it immediately. “There is something feline inside all of us; every woman wants to be a bit of a tiger, a little wild. That’s one of the reasons why Roberto loves animal print so much.” Roberto and Eva Cavalli showcase their fashion, lifestyle - and new signature fragrance - at their villa in Florence Coty’s Scannavini highlighted the close connection between the fashion and fragrance industry. “There are several similarities; they are getting closer and closer,” he noted. “It’s all about emotion. When you see a beautiful dress or a beautiful fragrance, the response is not really rational. And with this fragrance, we want to evoke the same emotion a woman would experience when she sees a [Cavalli] dress.” He added: “Fashion and fragrance continue to evolve. You always have your classics [dresses and fragrances], the ones you keep forever. But there is also room to experiment with new trends.” “I think they go in parallel,” noted Eva. “They complete each other – a fragrance needs fashion to complete the dream. But everyone can buy a fragrance, it’s [democratic], and allows women to feel special, in this case to be a part of the Cavalli universe. So we’re not just speaking about a fragrance, it’s a way to fulfil a dream.” Face Sednaoui declared herself “honoured and excited” to have been chosen by Cavalli to represent its new signature fragrance. The print campaign was shot by Steven Klein; the TV ad directed by Johan Renck. "I think the Cavalli woman is someone who dares to be herself, who has personality, style, opinions and self-confidence. All women should dare to be themselves, dare to go out there and have fun." Fragrance face Elisa Sednaoui “I think the Cavalli woman is someone who dares to be herself, who has personality, style, opinions and self-confidence,” she explained. “All women should dare to be themselves, dare to go out there and have fun.” Sednaoui had high praise for the Cavalli grown she wears in the ad campaign. “It was designed especially for me by Eva,” she explained. “The fabric is amazing, just like the quality of the design. I honestly felt like the tiger in me was coming out,” she laughed. “And every woman should dare to be a tiger sometimes, because then great things can happen.” The high quality of Cavalli couture is, according to Sednaoui, the key to the brand’s appeal. “The thing that comes to my mind is the quality of work that is behind every piece,” she explained. “The quality, the cut, the materials – Roberto has all this incredible knowledge [which allows him] to play with fashion and shape.” BOTTLING THE BRAND “A strong personality is the sexiest thing,” believes Roberto Cavalli, and his new signature fragrance aims to reflect that in all the right ways. Composed by Givaudan’s Louise Turner, the floral-amber juice features three key ingredients: orange blossom, Tonka bean and pink pepper. “It’s got lots of signature; it’s intense, it’s very Cavalli,” noted Turner at the launch event. “It’s very sensual, very feminine and has a good vibration. Like a Cavalli dress, you wear it to be noticed.” Turner was given a comprehensive brief for the fragrance, which included lots of background about the brand fundamentals, examples of Cavalli animal print, and various quotes from the designer. “It was clear to me that Roberto is someone who is very inspired by nature,” she explained. “We always tend to associate him with animal print, which he does love, but there’s an awful lot more to the house than that. It’s much more varied, very colourful, such a vibrant universe. Roberto uses nature in quite a figurative manner, which is quite evocative for me.” During the fragrance launch event, journalists were allowed unprecedented access to the Cavalli factory, atelier and archive Turner continued: “It is not difficult to have ideas about a house with such a strong identity. I think a strong brand image allows you to have a strong signature in your fragrance as well. I just needed to make sure that the fragrance tells the same story as a Cavalli dress.” Turner chose orange flower to anchor the heart of the juice. “For me, it’s very feminine and very colourful,” she explained. “It’s got lots of sensuality, it’s quite extravagant, and very Italian. It animates and adds dimension.” Tonka bean, which features in the base, was also selected for its sensual properties. It is complemented by vanilla absolute and benzoin to form an amber accord. A top note of pink peppercorn is said to deliver a touch of vibrancy and exuberance. Turner is known for her work with natural ingredients, and admits that she favours certain components over others. “I don’t really like animal notes,” she revealed, “and there are none in this fragrance. "It is not difficult to have ideas about a house with such a strong identity. I think a strong brand image allows you to have a strong signature in your fragrance as well." Fragrance nose Givaudan’s Louise Turner “I suppose every perfumer has a favourite palette of raw materials which they always draw on,” she continued. “But that palette does change. It’s like anything, you have your favourites, but they evolve. You can go off things too.” One element that doesn’t change, however, is the excitement Turner feels at the start of the creative process. “At the very beginning, when you first get the brief and are sifting through lots of ideas, that is very stimulating,” she confirmed. “It also feels good when you see your finished product in the bottle. “But best of all is when you smell your fragrance in the street, or watch someone buy it. What we create is very personal, and of course we want people to like it.” The fragrance is presented in a curved glass bottle, topped with a tiara-shaped cap formed by Roberto Cavalli’s golden seal. The neck is adorned with a tiger-print band. The outer carton is also gold, with the signature seal printed in relief on the front. The box sports a tiger-print base, beneath a turquoise “hip-belt” style ribbon. SETTING OUT THE STRATEGY Coty Prestige has made no secret of its ambitions for the Cavalli brand. “For this fragrance, we are looking at a big launch next February, both in local markets and in travel retail worldwide,” noted Mortier. “We have high hopes for it everywhere. “In geographic terms, we believe the brand will be very strong in Europe, especially in Italy, but also in Russia and the Middle East too – Cavalli even has a club in Dubai. The brand is known in North America, because Roberto is a real red carpet guy, and we also think South America could be very big, particularly Brazil and Mexico. In Asia, we are also confident that the animal print element and special DNA of this brand could help to capture the Chinese consumer, which of course is so important.” Mortier underlined the unique perspective the licence had brought to the Coty portfolio. “Robert Cavalli offers something different, something we didn’t already have within the group,” he explained. “That’s very important. There are so many me-too products nowadays, that if you introduce a new brand to the market, it has to be different, it has to stand out, and it needs to be very clear in terms of its DNA.” "There are so many me-too products nowadays, that if you introduce a new brand to the market, it has to be different, it has to stand out, and it needs to be very clear in terms of its DNA." Coty Prestige Senior Vice President Commercial Jean Mortier And while Coty has introduced a number of new products, and indeed new brands this year, Mortier is quick to point out the importance of supporting classic lines too. “Think back to what we have done this year, with ck one shock and Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria,” he instructed. “We always make sure that a certain amount of innovation is dedicated to reinforcing our big pillars. Innovation is necessary; it represents about 16% of our sales. But it’s a balancing act, and you have to look after everything else too.” The launch of Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum will be supported by extensive print and TV advertising. In travel retail there will be a number of HPPs, which are still being finalised. And digital media will also play a role. “Within Coty, we have had a team of people working on this for some time,” confirmed Mortier. “We have realigned our resources, in terms of digital media, behind all our brands. So we have new web-sites, but are also working on social media such as Facebook, which will be very important for this type of launch.” He added: “Basically, this sort of thing is critical today, you have to be there. But you also have to know how to play it. You have to monitor how much money you spend, and it has to be complementary to traditional media such as print, outdoor and TV.” Mortier confirmed that the signature feminine fragrance would be followed by other launches, including introductions under the Just Cavalli brand. “But first we want to install this fragrance at the right level and position, in terms of distribution, image and pricing. That’s the first priority.” Mortier did not rule out extending into other product categories, in due course. Colour would be the most obvious choice for diversification. “We have not had any discussions about this yet because we are so focused on the fragrance, but why not, I think it’s a possibility,” he acknowledged. “But it is very early days, and to enter the colour category you need to have a certain critical mass. So this would not be on the agenda for a few years, but yes, in theory colour, and within that, the nail sector, could be very interesting.” The fragrance launch concluded with a sumptuous dinner and late-night party, again at the Cavalli villa Skincare and make-up will play a much bigger role for Coty in the year ahead, although fragrance will remain core. The brand has just started rolling out its face and body brand philosophy. In 2012 the group will introduce a new make-up collection from Calvin Klein. And the acquisition of leading nail brand OPI (which will feature in travel retail) is set to open up another lucrative new sector. “We are in the middle of a big change, moving from a fragrance house to a beauty house,” confirmed Mortier. “It’s a big challenge, but very exciting. We aim to transform philosophy from a mainly US brand, to an international brand. That process has already started with the UK; next will be Australia, Canada, then Asia.” He continued: “We will enter the make-up category with Calvin Klein next February/March. And of course we also have OPI. Our goal is to double the nail business in travel retail. We think it is very under-developed, so there is big potential in the channel.” Looking back at the last fiscal year, which ended in June, Mortier seems satisfied with the group’s performance. “We had a very good year, with double-digit growth close to +20% in travel retail,” he reveals. “We really grew the business on all continents, but especially in Asia, thanks to Chloe and Marc Jacobs. I would say that the fiscal year starting from July has also begun very well, with all our early innovations performing strongly.” Mortier praised the efforts being made by certain travel retailers to drive footfall and penetration, and singled out World Duty Free Group and Aelia for their investment in the retail environment. “I see a lot money being spent on airport renovations, especially in Europe,” he confirmed, “although I still believe in some airports that fragrance is under-developed and needs more space.” Mortier also acknowledged the difficulties of trying to organise cross-category merchandising and events. “For example, we have tried with many of our licences to [capitalise on the synergies between the fashion and the fragrance],” he explains. “But it involves dealing with different buyers – and in some cases different concessions – so it’s very difficult. Which is a shame, because it works so well when we introduce fragrance into a domestic fashion boutique. After all, the consumer doesn’t differentiate, they see the brand as one.” Nonetheless, Mortier is determined to add some theatre to the travel retail environment with the launch of the new Cavalli fragrance. “I would love to bring a tiger to the airport,” he laughs, “but I don’t think that will be possible. But we will explore possibilities involving dresses and bags. And we might create some special accessories, a ring or necklace containing a solid perfume, for example. It represents another access point to the brand and we know from our experience with other designers that consumers love that sort of thing.” Such innovation is all part of the Coty mind-set. “I think we are seen by the business as very energetic, entrepreneurial and dynamic,” noted Mortier. “Our entire team is very reactive, and that’s good, because travel retail in particular is a very fast-moving business.” He concludes: “We are big, but not arrogant, I hope. We try to grow, to find solutions, to set new trends. We want to build brands, bring theatre to the store and create a real shopping experience for the consumer.” Roberto Cavalli is a brand that will allow them to do just that.