Harajuku Lovers fragrance collection coming this fall

GWEN STEFANI will release a Harajuku Lovers collection of fragrances in conjunction with Coty this autumn – with bottles created from dolls the L.A.M.B. designer based on herself and her four backup singers, Love, Angel, Music and Baby.

“I didn’t think this project would actually come to life,” Stefani confesses. “The idea that Coty would let me do five different fragrances for Harajuku Lovers was a fantasy. But it really had to be five, because that’s what the world is. Each girl has her own personality and sense of style. We’re all saying something different with unique personalities.”

To fit with the branding, each scent is tailored to each girl’s personality and traits. And Stefani – who is expecting her second child with husband Gavin Rossdale later this year – doesn’t want her beauty empire to stop there.

“I would love to have a full L.A.M.B. beauty line one day,” she tells WWD. “It makes sense. I’ve always loved doing my hair and makeup and getting all dressed up. When I have a party or an event to go to, getting ready is just as much fun as actually going out.”

That whimsy is reflected in the Harajuku Lovers bottles, which consist of two pieces: a glass base that holds the juice and hides the spray top, and a personalized doll that lifts off the base. Each doll is meticulously crafted, with a different mold and hand-applied detailing, down to the bows on Lil’ Angel’s dreadlocks. The outer box gives each doll’s backstory.

The scents will each be available in two sizes: $45 for 30 ml. and $25 for 10 ml. A coffret, which includes solid perfume versions of all five, will be on counter later this fall as a permanent addition to the collection, and will retail for $60. “They’re value-priced to encourage multiple purchases,” said Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances for Coty Prestige, adding, “While we’re not the first to launch multiple scents at once, I do believe that we’re one of the few to launch five extremely different scents at once.”

In the U.S., the Harajuku Lovers collection will be sold in some 2,200 department and specialty store doors, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Sephora. The lineup will also be sold in 17 international markets, including Japan, the U.K., France, Australia, Germany and China. Worldwide, the scents will be in about 10,000 doors, said Walsh.

In the U.S., certain retailers — including Macy’s West — intend to install such fan-appealing features as 5-foot versions of the fragrance dolls and a photo booth where customers can take their pictures with the characters.

A print advertising campaign, shot by Craig McDean, will begin running in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. Stefani does not appear in the ads, purposely, said Walsh. “Harajuku Lovers is part of the world of Gwen Stefani — but it’s a completely different franchise than Gwen’s first fragrance, L,” said Walsh. “We wanted to make that clear. Each one of these scents has its own personality.”

Coty is also filming TV spots for the collection, although it is unlikely that they will be shown in the U.S., said Walsh.

Also key will be a comprehensive Web site, HLfragrance.com, intended to be an “interactive online experience,” said Leslie Oglesby, global director of marketing. The site will offer information about the fragrances and their creation process, as well as a scrapbook section, a style discussion board and downloadable tools and avatars, said Oglesby. It is expected to go live on Sept. 1.

Now that her five fragrances are finished, Stefani is considering a September runway show, although her newest project — baby number two with husband Gavin Rossdale — may interfere. “I’m hoping to do a show, but it’s right around when I’m due, so I’m not sure yet,” she said.

But she certainly hasn’t forgotten her first love, music. “Right now I’m in the studio with the guys, working on a new No Doubt album, while working on spring 2009 for L.A.M.B.,” she said, adding that designing her apparel and accessories lines scratches a creative itch for her. “Music and fashion are both forms of creative and artistic expression for me. They’re similar in that they’re both never-ending collaborative art projects.”

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