The Italian fashion house, which was acquired by the Qatari royal family in 2012 for US$857 million, has been in the fragrance business since the late 1970s when Unilever held the license. A long-term agreement that ended in 2003.
Like Prada, Valentino believed that it had the potential to create a stellar powerhouse offering when it re-branded as Valentino Beauty and secured the backing of L’Oréal, the world’s largest beauty player.
Valentino’s first fragrance debuted in 1977. Throughout the Noughties, franchises such as Valentina, Valentino Uomo, Vendetta, Valentino Donna and their flankers were nice little earners.
The first fragrances under the L’Oréal agreement – Born in Roma for men and women – were launched in Australia in February with a minimum of fanfare as a “celebration of the Roman way of life”.
But no one knows better than L’Oréal what a famous face can do for sales. Giorgio Armani‘s women fragrances really hit the big time when the brand employed its first celebrity ambassador, Cate Blanchett, to front the best-selling fragrance – Si.
Julia Roberts has been the face of Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle, the world’s number two best-selling prestige fragrance, since its rollout in 2012.
Valentino’s new global launch – Voce Viva – will be fronted by Lady Gaga.
The award-winning actor and singer launched her own celebrity fragrances – Eau de Gaga and Lady Gaga in 2012 and 2014 and has dabbled in beauty.
Not only is Lady Gaga Italian-American, she is also a Millennial and her fan base is made up largely of her peers and Gen Zers. In the past, Valentino has mainly placed great emphasis on sophistication and appealing to women of all ages.
Voce Viva – the transliteration of the Latin phrase meaning with living voice AND by word of mouth – will debut in Australia and globally in September in time for the festive season and major online shopping events.