1990: Versace L'Homme by Bruce Weber

Versace Redux. (fashion designer Gianni Versace introduces new fragrance)
WWD, August 3, 1990, Peter Born

Ph: Bruce Weber
NEW YORK -- Gianni Versace is about to make his second attempt in six years to crack the U.S. fragrance market. But this time he is operating with his own company on his own terms.

The Milanese designer's men's scent, Versace L'Homme, will be introduced in New York at Bloomingdale's on Aug. 26 and Neiman Marcus in Dallas on Oct. 14. The scent had been launched in Italy in fall 1988.

Versace is reentering the market through a recently formed American subsidiary, Vepro U.S.A. Limited, headed by Murray S. Pottruck, president, and Myra O'Leary, vice president of sales. Offices are at 150 East 58th St. here.

The first U.S. attempt came in 1984 with the launch of Versace's first women's fragrance, Gianni Versace, through a licensing agreement with Charles of the Ritz. "The original brand did not get the tender loving care that was required," said Pottruck. "They [Versace and his executives] weren't overly happy with the way it was handled." The Ritz connection was snapped three years ago when Versace repurchased the worldwide rights.

Versace has launched three fragrances in Europe, including the introduction in the spring of the latest men's scent, V'e, which is due here in 1991. Pottruck and O'Leary were both executives at Calvin Klein Cosmetics. Pottruck was vice president of finance and administration and O'Leary was regional sales manager for the Northeast and New York.

Pottruck noted that after the Ritz experience, Versace and his associates became more. circumspect about the American market. "They wanted to make sure the next time they entered the market it was done correctly," Pottruck said. "They felt they didn't know the U.S market well enough. They researched the market for the most effective way." "We are not looking for numbers," added O'Leary. "We are looking to build a solid business What is most important is to have the brand positioned properly."

The line will be distributed throughout the 15-unit Bloomingdale's chain, then introduced in 11 Neiman's units, including the Dallas flagship and the branch in Beverly Hills. O'Leary noted that negotiations are continuing with other stores for late fall, and she expects distribution to reach 100 department and specialty store doors for the season , as well as Versace's eight U.S. boutiques. Another 150 to 250 doors will be added next spring James Held, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Bloomingdale's, said, "The fragrance is an upscale, sophisticated brand that has a good scent. What is particularly strong about the brand is that although the bottle and fragrance have a classic bent, the packaging is more contemporary."

Versace also will run an ad, photographed by Bruce Weber, in magazines such as Vogue, GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair and Elle. Pottruck noted that the mix of publications was tailored to appeal to men and women.


Anonymous said...

The model (i think) is Andy Minsker the boxer and subject of Bruce Weber's film "Broken Noses".

Johec said...

not sure about that

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