Zara dives into fragrance sector with Jo Malone founder tie-up
Jo Malone had always believed she would work at her namesake brand for the rest of her life. But sixteen years after the company’s creation, it was acquired by the Estée Lauder Companies “for undisclosed millions”, and shortly after, the British perfumer was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. “I was 38 years old and that year changed my life. When I recovered, I left Jo Malone London and launched a new brand: Jo Loves,” says the fragrance expert in Paris, where she is launching an unexpected partnership with Zara. Together with an Inditex team, Jo Malone spent more than a year developing a collection of eight exclusive scents, in what seems to be the first step of a long-term collaboration.
“When I received Zara's call, I was very excited to work with the brand. After a series of meetings, I went to more than 100 Zara stores in different countries and I found that people felt happiness when shopping there,” says Malone, giving a masterclass in the art of storytelling, a skill that is also evident in the description of each fragrance. “I am a woman in my 50s, and I didn’t think I would get an opportunity like this at this time in my life,” she continues, adding that she wants to “tell Zara’s stories” in the same way that Jo Loves tells the stories of her life. “I worked with the idea of bringing exclusivity to the brand and getting people to ask you what you are wearing and being surprised to hear that answer is Zara,” she said about the democratisation of the world of perfume.
As Zara’s fragrance category turns twenty, quality is taking precedence at Inditex. The range comes in plastic-free packaging, and there could be more product releases in the future. For now, the ‘Zara Emotions by Jo Malone CBE’ collection includes eight scents, two for women and six unisex, launching on 15 November in Zara stores in Europe, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, as well as online. The fragrances are available in three sizes, a 10ml bottle selling for €5.95, a 40ml bottle retailing for €15.95 and a €25.95 90ml bottle.
From fresh, crisp scents such as the ‘Vetiver Pamplemousse,' to softer creations like the ‘Waterlily Tea Dress,' which draws inspiration from 1920s glamour, the Parisian flair of Tuberose Noir,' and the strength of ‘Fleur De Patchouli' and ‘Bohemian Bluebells’, the final selection reflects Zara’s ambition to go one step further and create a distinct offering despite its fast-fashion model.
Inditex - More than just clothes
Whilst this is the most high-profile push into the category, Zara has had a fragrance offer for men, women and children for many years. It remains to be seen if the brand will manage to convey Jo Malone’s concepts and the range’s exclusive character in its stores, which have been designed for mass consumption; and drive online sales despite the category’s intrinsically physical nature. The financial results of this collaboration will remain, most likely, under wraps, as does the performance of every product category of Inditex’s retail chains.
Inditex has been trying to grow the fragrance collections of its brands as part of a wider diversification strategy. Last year, Massimo Dutti introduced a new range of fragrances called ‘The Secret of Scents’, with a more elevated look and higher positioning than previous attempts. Meanwhile, Zara has also recently branched out into the makeup segment with the launch of a lipstick line.
Entering into new markets is Inditex’s way of creating new revenue streams. The Spanish group already has impressive sales, posting revenues of €26.14 billion in 2018. In Spain, sales of fragrances and cosmetic products grew by 2% to €6.95 billion last year, while exports jumped 10% to €4.68 billion. Globally, France dominates the fragrance market with the highest export values, followed by Spain, Germany and the United States.
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