Azzedine Alaïa, who famously shows his designs whenever he feels like it, is clearly in expansion mode. We reported several months ago that the designer was opening his first flagship since the 90s in Paris, and now he's making another savvy business decision: The designer is adding beauty to his empire.
According to WWD, Alaïa just signed a fragrance and cosmetics license with Beauté Prestige International (BPI). “Beauté Prestige International corresponds perfectly to the spirit of the Alaïa house,” Alaïa told the trade. “I am delighted to work with them in launching this new project. I have total confidence in Beauté Prestige International to accompany me in creating a perfume that interprets my work and my world.”
BPI produces fragrances for Narciso Rodriguez, Issey Miyake, and Jean Paul Gaultier, so Alaïa is certainly in good company. However, the designer's decision to launch a perfume is a bit surprising, given his anti-establishment reputation.
When done properly, though, a fragrance launch is much more than just a cash cow. According to Michael Chevalier and Gerald Mazzalovo, who wrote the 2008 book Luxury Brand Management: A World of Privilege: "If Azzedine Alaïa had developed a successful perfume license, his fashion business would be much stronger today and better known by a wider range of customers." Better late than never, right?
Alaïa definitely has insider-y cache, which will probably make his fragrance really sought after. We also suspect that he won't do a "traditional" scent--we can see him doing something weird and more challenging, like Margiela's tobacco-tinged fragrance. It would be in keeping with the image he presents--not accessible to everyone but super sexy nonetheless.
While the WWD article doesn't specifically mention further products, the license includes fragrance and cosmetics. BPI is Shiseido's fragrance division, so we're crossing our fingers for a makeup collection, too, though that's mainly wishful thinking on our part right now.