Fergie Adds Sparkle to Avon's Celebrity Portfolio

Fergie, frontwoman of the Black Eyed Peas, signs fragrance deal with Avon.

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Fergie’s first brush with the beauty world came last year when she partnered with MAC Cosmetics’ Viva Glam campaign to raise money and awareness for the MAC AIDS fund. “It’s very important to me to work with a company that has supported real issues,” Fergie said. “It makes me feel like a better person when it’s not just about me.”

While the name and exact composition of the upcoming scent with Avon are still being finalized, Fergie described her debut fragrance as “fresh and alluring.” She hinted, “The vibe for the scent is for the woman who wears it to feel confident and not be afraid to be noticed.”

Advertising for the fragrance is being shot in Los Angeles today by photographer Mario Sorrenti. A global print, television and digital campaign is scheduled to bow next September. Avon executives said they will be targeting beauty and entertainment books as well as embarking on some new digital advertising initiatives.

“We sought Fergie for the fact that she was a diverse addition to our already diverse alliance strategy,” said Tracy Roe Haffner, Avon’s vice president of global fragrance marketing and strategic alliances. “We are not just looking for celebrities or designers; we wanted a wide range of equities that would appeal to people across the globe. Fragrance is about aspirations, and Fergie is a confident, sexy woman who is not afraid to be herself. She is a very global celebrity who is exciting to women everywhere.”

The new fragrance is one of many projects keeping Fergie busy this fall.

Having just competed the Japanese, Australian and New Zealand leg of a one-and-a-half-year-long world tour with The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie is also getting ready for the November premiere of her new film “Nine” where she will appear alongside Hollywood heavyweights like Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren and Kate Hudson. The songstress is also promoting her shoe line with Brown Shoe Co., which hit stores earlier in the year, and collaborating with former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash on two new tracks. “I’m working with Cypress Hill on one of the songs, and working with these people gives me a chance to explore another side of me, more rock ’n’ roll,” she said.

This weekend, the newlywed is looking forward to squeezing in some quality time with her husband, actor Josh Duhamel, whom she married in January.

“We’re having a romantic rendezvous in Oklahoma where I am opening for U2,” she said. “We’re actually both in high-work mode right now, which is very healthy. He is filming a movie in Atlanta right now, so I am usually waking up when he is going to bed.”

Fergie adds luster to Avon’s growing list of high-profile names — some of which, at first glance, extend beyond what may seem like a natural fit for the direct seller. Avon’s celebrity alliances also have allowed the company to raise the price points on its fragrances.

“We felt that a designer stable could help us to continue to elevate our share in mass premium fragrance and to elevate the [brand] image, and it has been an extraordinary success and we are extremely pleased with the fragrance business we’ve been able to grow year on year since 2006,” Jung said. “It builds image, it allows pricing power and there is a strong desire to buy a piece of celebrity,” Jung said. “These strategic alliances in my mind have step-changed our success in the category.” She added the each of celebrity scents have global reach.

BMO Capital analyst Connie Maneaty, Avon’s celebrity strategy, “adds a little sparkle, and it helps the brand profile.” Maneaty added, “There’s a positive benefit for the representatives, too. It makes the products easier to sell.”

Avon representative Marie Benoit-Wilcox of Irvington, N.J., said, “It’s a plus because it puts Avon in a higher class bracket.” Benoit-Wilcox, a top earner for Avon, added the celebrity name may get a customer’s attention, “and I can then introduce them to additional Avon product as well.”

As for whether Avon plans to scout more high-profile names, Jung said, “We will have a continued pipeline of designers and celebrities for the foreseeable future that will we add to the stable.”


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