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This week, for a couple of days, I’ve been The Moodie Report’s Mann in Milan. That moniker is especially suited to the launch in question, Ermenegildo Zegna’s new masculine fragrance Uomo, which in Italian means – you guessed it – Man.
The scent was created by the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division of The Estée Lauder Companies, which acquired the license from L’Oréal’s YSL Beauté division in July 2011. Both parties have made it crystal clear that the launch is a significant step on a path that will lead to bigger things within the men’s arena, in terms of fragrances and skincare.
The launch event, therefore, was suitably high profile, kicking off with a press conference attended by Zegna CEO Gildo Zegna, Global Brand President Aramis and Designer Fragrances, BeautyBank & IdeaBank Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, Select NY President and Worldwide Creative Director Olivier Van Doorne, The Estée Lauder Companies Vice President Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide Trudi Loren and (swoon) fragrance face model Ryan Burns.
The press conference was followed by a series of group interviews, in which Zegna Image Director Anna Zegna also participated. That evening, the fragrance was feted at a cocktail and dinner on the top floor of the Palazzo Lombardia (formerly Italy’s tallest skyscraper), which was attended by Gildo Zegna and Lauder President and CEO Fabrizio Freda. Post-dinner, guests were treated to a spectacular private performance by classical violinist Charlie Siem.
On day two, journalists were taken to Trivero, to visit and tour the Zegna Mills and archives. Quality and control underpin everything Zegna produces in fashion terms (the house owns its own sheep farms in Australia, processes its own wool and weaves its own cloth). Similar standards will fortify the new Uomo fragrance, the brand maintains, as it owns the Calabrian bergamot harvest that is used within the juice, thereby guaranteeing quality, consistency – and exclusivity.
A final word: look out for the Zegna Uomo TV ad campaign, shot by director Jonas Åkerland. The talent, model Ryan Burns, is indeed delectable, but the real star is the location, none other than the iconic Casa Malaparte in Capri. The architectural masterpiece (and specifically its reverse pyramidal staircase) is showcased spectacularly, as Burns literally and figuratively “steps up” to his destiny. Exquisitely shot, it’s a pinnacle of fragrance advertising, on every level.
Journalists enjoyed an extensive tour of the Zegna Mills and archives