Ooh, well this is a coup, non? Rochas have announced that Olivia Palermo is set to be the face of their latest fragrance, with the Parisian fashion house set to reveal their new scent after their fashion show in Paris on February 29th. (>SQUEALS<)
Olivia said ‘I am so excited to be working with Rochas. Fashion has always been such a big part of my life, and I love how Rochas exudes a woman’s femininity but is still unexpected... While Rochas has ingrained French roots, I think every woman can get the sense of joie de vivre and confidence in their style that the Parisians emanate. I always like to be a bit more fashion-forward and playful in my style choices when I visit Paris’.
Procter & Gamble, which owns the Rochas name, meanwhile, said in reply that Palermo has a ‘natural sense of style and classic elegance are a perfect fit with what Rochas stands for’.
Rochas, of course, was established in 1925 by Marcel Rochas, and on his death in 1955 his wife, Hélène, took charge at the age of 29. Over the following fifteen years, Hélène transformed the label in to a multimillion dollar company, which she sold in 1971. In its most recent incarnations, Rochas’ fashion lines have been helmed by Olivier Theyskens between 2002 – 2006, and most recently by Marco Zanini.
Rochas has always been famous for its fragrances, as well as its fashion – the first Rochas fragrance, Femme, was released in 1943 and was inspired by Hélène herself. It was followed by another scent - Madame Rochas - in 1960, and in 1970, just before Hélène sold the label, she noted to WWD that ‘when we closed our couture house on the Avenue Matignon, Rochas became one of the few perfume houses that was not connected with couture… I wanted to replace the couture with the idea of elegance.’
Talking about the way in which fashion had changed between Rochas being founded, in 1925, and the sale in 1970, she also pointed out that ‘the image of the elegant woman has changed.... Now elegant women are often the last to be in fashion. It’s the girl in the street... the young, who decide fashion today and they’re becoming very sophisticated. I notice it with perfume.’
Which is a statement which we think resonates even more today than it did forty years ago, and which we also think makes sense in terms of the lovely Miss Palermo’s new role. We can’t help but think that Hélène Rochas, who died last year, would have approved.
[WWD, subscription required]