It’s been 13 years since Calvin Klein—who created still-recognizable zeitgeist scents like Obsession and Eternity—has released a new fragrance. But now under the helm of chief creative officer Raf Simons, the brand is returning to creating iconic scents with the July launch of a new scent, simply called “Women.”
Simons joined Calvin Klein in August 2016 and famously thanked “women” when accepting his Womenswear Designer of the Year honor—his second in two years—at June’s CFDA Awards. Now, he’s making a new mark on the label, collaborating on his first fragrance.
“Immediately when I arrived, I looked closely at the various fragrances in the portfolio because it was important for me to continue the stories they captured, which were all iconic and meaningful moments,” Simons told Business of Fashion. “It became clear very early on that we should create a new fragrance and a new chapter to the story.”
To do so, Simons and fragrance partner Coty Luxury combined Eucalyptus acorns, Alaskan cedarwood and orange blossom to create a “woody floral with notes of orange flower and lemon pepper.” According to Edgar Huber, president of Coty Luxury, “It’s a sophisticated scent, and that’s how we integrated the phenomena of [niche fragrance].”
To promote the new scent, Simons recruited very talented women; Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o and three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan are the faces of Calvin Klein Women’s campaign, photographed by visual artist Anne Collier, who also co-created the packaging with perfume bottle designer Suzanne Dalton (Collier’s photograph of a woman’s eye is superimposed on the disc-like cap).
“The phrase ‘I am Women,’ it’s odd.” Lupita Nyong’o says in a promotion for the new fragrance. “Odd and beautiful, because it acknowledges the individual as well as the collective.”
To further recognize that collective of womanhood, Nyong’o and Ronan were asked to identify women who “inspired and influenced” them. For Nyong’o, it was Eartha Kitt and Katharine Hepburn, while Ronan chose Sissy Spacek and Nina Simone. In the resulting campaign, black-and-white pictures of Kitt, Hepburn, Spacek and Simone are featured alongside the campaign stars.
“Women was born out of the desire to celebrate both the plurality as well as the individuality of femininity today,” Simons told BoF. “It’s a message of unity and inspired strength. I am immensely proud of everyone who contributed to and gave voice to this project.”
The Glow Up tip: Calvin Klein’s Women is currently available for pre-order with a ship date of July 25, has a recommended retail price of $65 for a 30 ml bottle, $84 for 50 ml and $102 for 100 ml.