Kristen Stewart was photographed by Steven Meisel for Balenciaga‘s latest fragrance, Florabotanica, that was designed to appeal to 25- to 35-year-olds but is finding its sweet spot with the classic-loving, 35-plus market.
Below are the quote of the article from WWD:
“We see this as a game-changer for the brand,” said Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances for Coty Prestige, speaking of Florabotanica.
She noted the current Balenciaga scent business was designed to appeal to 25- to 35-year-olds but is finding its sweet spot with the classic-loving, 35-plus market.
“Florabotanica targets a younger consumer — 18-year-olds and up,” continued Walsh. “They may not know Cristóbal Balenciaga, but they certainly know Nicolas Ghesquière. In the U.S., this is very much a fashion brand.”
She called the flower in the fragrance’s ad visual “not just a pretty flower, but a pretty dangerous flower. Nicolas’ vision is to twist and turn the heritage and make it something of today.”
Countrywide, the Florabotanica line will include 30-, 50- and 100-ml. eau de parfum sprays that are to retail for $65, $95 and $125, respectively. Ancillaries are to include a body lotion and shower gel.
Florabotanica will be carried in about 300 U.S. specialty store doors. After a one-month exclusive in September with Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, the scent is to be rolled out in October to Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s.
In September, the fragrance will be introduced abroad in the U.K., Canada and France. The rollout will then include Italy, Russia and Spain in October, followed by Australia, Germany and the Benelux countries in November. Worldwide, Florabotanica will be carried in about 5,000 doors.
“On a base level, the reason you want to wear a fragrance is because you want to smell attractive,” said Stewart, sitting in a suite of Le Bristol hotel here, wearing a Balenciaga T-shirt, shorts and heels. “That in itself is a pretty mature idea, especially considering the teenager I was. I was never the one wearing my mom’s perfume and trying to be sexy. I was like hanging out with my brothers and doing the opposite of that.
“I’m very lucky that I like the fragrance, because I would have done anything with [Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière],” continued the 22-year-old. “And I’m a terrible liar.”
Stewart said she was relieved the first time she smelled Florabotanica.
“There is something natural about it,” explained Stewart. “It’s very alive. I think that as a young person wearing it — considering that I’ve never worn a scent — it kind of puts you on this level of, like, ‘Whoa, check me out.’ ”
Teaming with Ghesquière was like “kismet,” she said.
The designer took note of Stewart in the movie “Panic Room” and a subsequent Bruce Weber shoot for Interview magazine. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, I would love to do something with her one day.’ She’s so Balenciaga,” said Ghesquière.
For her part, Stewart feels “lucky” and “really excited” about the scent project, since it came together naturally.
“Even though, yes, it’s an ad and we’re selling a fragrance — I don’t want to sound pretentious — but I want to be part of this art project,” she said. “I want to be around Nicolas when he gets excited about fabric. I want to see the look on his face when he sees me put on a dress.”
Florabotanica is the second major Balenciaga scent Ghesquière has worked on, after Balenciaga Paris, which came out in 2010. For the new project, executives from fragrance licensee Coty Inc. asked him to pick out part of his Balenciaga fashion and have a young consumer in mind. In 2008, Ghesquière had created a collection involving “nice” and “nasty” flowers. The idea evolved into taking a sampling from that garden.
“It’s more narrative, kind of a fantasy,” he said. “So when I thought about the fragrance and the character that would visit that garden, I thought Kristen could be the perfect beauty and the perfect personality to represent that.”
Ghesquière said Stewart is full of dualities — gorgeous and boyish — for instance.
He described the Florabotanica flacon as being like a laboratory bottle into which the striped tube can be dipped to cull the botanical garden’s extract. Similarly, the scent’s invented name is meant to have both a scientific and natural ring.
Florabotanica’s juice was created with International Flavors & Fragrances perfumers Olivier Polge and Jean-Christophe Hérault. It includes a vetiver, amber and caladium-leaf accord, and a (hybrid) rose, carnation and mint accord.
The advertising photo shoot set was decorated with 3-D metal sculptures looking like elements of a floral print Ghesquière made a couple of years ago.
“It’s the reality that looks artificial,” said Ghesquière. “I think it was quite interesting.”
In the print campaign photographed by Steven Meisel, Stewart — wearing a dress from the flower collection — stands fairly straight-legged, with her hands in her pockets.
“I think that’s kind of perfect for this particular ad. Usually, a fragrance ad would definitely be like,” said Stewart, striking an exaggerated, sexy lounge pose on the couch. “When I first stood there, I was like, ‘OK, do you want me to show the curves of the dress? Do you want me to stand like this? Like that?’ And they were like, ‘Just be comfortable.’ ”
Images via TFS.