IN CONVERSATION WITH VIKTOR&ROLF
Viktor&Rolf is the avant-garde luxury fashion house founded in 1993 by Dutch fashion artists Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, recognized and respected for its provocative Haute Couture and conceptual glamour.
As fashion artists, Viktor & Rolf believe in the power of transformation. They are constantly evolving and expanding the boundaries of their creations. With Haute Couture as their ultimate laboratory for expression, their seasonal shows present the explorations of their artistic prowess, each collection building on their 25-year archive of cerebral, yet wearable art.
Following the resounding global launch of Flowerbomb in 2005 — quickly becoming one of the most iconic best selling feminine fragrances — Viktor&Rolf makes a brand-new statement as it unveils GOOD FORTUNE, endorsed by the visionary visual artist, singer and dancer FKA twigs. An acclaimed singer-songwriter, FKA twigs is a Grammy Award-winning artist whose genre-bending music draws on sources such as electronic, trip hop, R&B and avant-garde. Once again defying the codes of fashion and fragrance, Viktor&Rolf presents a spiritual hymn to a new age of prosperous femininity.
Viktor & Rolf are storytellers, and the tale of GOOD FORTUNE is filled with playfully mysterious references to ‘spirituality’. Such as white magic and alchemy; yoga and the cosmos; the healing power of crystals and flowers and the archetypal image of the fortune teller with her crystal ball. The fragrance is an invitation to those wanting to embrace their inner modern mystic, to follow their own path and to trust their own innate power. Those who are confident in the awareness of the active role they play creating their own good fortune.
A modern elixir, GOOD FORTUNE innovates on several levels. It features an exclusive, never used before distillate of fennel and gentian flower. Like a magical concoction, this never seen before note is the unique alchemy between two ingredients extracted together. It creates a magnetic elixir that reveals the bewitching energy of the GOOD FORTUNE fragrance. It also has no ingredients of animal origin, still a rarity in modern perfumery.
Once again defying the codes of fashion and fragrance, Viktor&Rolf presents a spiritual hymn to a new age of prosperous femininity. With GOOD FORTUNE, Viktor & Rolf anticipate a bright future with a single motto: “Destiny’s not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.”
Perfumers Anne Flipo and Nicolas Beaulieu took more than 10 years, and more than 3.500 trials, to come up with Good Fortune. The result is a unique and never-before-seen signature, a Viktor&Rolf exclusive co-distillate.
What are the top notes and all the sub notes of the scent? What is behind the decision on those notes that create this unique scent?
Nicolas: What makes it really special is the choice of ingredients. That’s what took very long, because the concept was so strong that with Anne we saw that we need to look back into the Botanics and find the virtues of the ingredients that we maybe forgot. And that’s the reason why we choose jasmine, because it has self-confidence. And vanilla for the serenity. The magic ingredient that came very quickly into the project is co-distillate of gentian flower and fennel, which is tailor made for Viktor&Rolf. It’s very unique. You never smelled it before. And it has the properties of awakening. So it’s very positive with magnetic attitude to the fragrance, the virtues that are people oriented and Viktor&Rolf wanted to transmit to the spirituality.
The scent has a vegan formula with no animal-derived ingredient, which is the first L’Oréal Luxe fragrance to claim it. Why is using vegan formula and no animal-derived ingredients so important for your brand?
Nicolas: I think it’s a general social feeling. It’s not only for perfumery or for L’Oréal and for Viktor&Rolf. I think it’s just important that we are not gonna test cosmetics and fragrances on animals anymore. And I think that’s the future.
What is the most exciting part for you both of creating and coming up with such unique and different combination of ingredients in the scent?
Anne: To find good harmony between jasmine and vanilla, to have a very original top note and adding the energy from co-distillate fennel and gentian flower.
Nicolas: For me, I think one of the most exciting things is to work with Anne, because there is this mix of energy and I just love it.
Anne: What is magic too is that people that wear ‘Good Fortune’ like it, and after wearing it they are addicted to it.
What was your inspiration behind the creative process when you were creating ‘Good Fortune’?
Nicolas: What I think was different in this creative process, was really this botanical looking at ingredient virtues. It’s not something that we usually do, because it’s not always that spiritual. So that’s the angle we took for this project and Viktor&Rolf loved it. And I think it was a good idea. Obviously we know the ingredients, but we never saw it as what are all the things they’re gonna bring to the final product.
Anne: And Viktor&Rolf didn’t want to have something dark. They wanted to have something very bright and luminous and positive.
With GOOD FORTUNE, Viktor&Rolf set out to create a fragrance that expresses modern spirituality. Resonating with those who are on an inner path to discover the essence of their being.
We would love to hear what story is behind the name of the perfume and the design of it’s mystical glass bottle.
Viktor: The design of the bottle is based on a crystal ball. When we were thinking about a new fragrance, we thought about how we wanted to do something about the idea of spirituality and the image that came to us was of a very glamorous, say almost Hollywood, version of a fortune teller with a crystal ball. So that’s the big story of the bottle. We thought that would be a brilliant bottle and that’s how we built the whole ad campaign. And that brought us to the name and the idea of ‘Good Fortune’. As people, we’re an active part of creating our own good fortune.
The bottle of Good Fortune is made with 15 % recycled glass and it is refillable. Launching perfumes in refillable bottles has become quite a trend in the industry. Why is sustainability such an important factor in today’s fashion and also in the fragrance world?
Viktor: It should become standard. I mean bit by bit, with small steps. I think everybody needs to contribute to it, because it’s a necessity.
FKA Twigs is the face of Good Fortune. Why is she the perfect spokesperson for this scent and the campaign?
Rolf: Well first of all, we are enormous fans. She’s so talented in everything she does. We’ve been reading interviews with her and she was talking about spirituality and working on yourself, becoming a better person. And we felt she was really talking about the same things as we were going through, so we asked her and we went to see her in London. Her whole house is filled with crystals and images of witches on the wall. At that moment, we thought we have a perfect match.
The campaign is a truly out of this world, hypnotic film by Andrew Thomas Huang. Why is having a strong campaign with an engaging story so important when launching new scents on the market?
Viktor: For us, it’s always important to have a strong engaging story, whether it’s an exhibition or a fashion show. So a fragrance is just another way of telling a story and the great thing, but also the challenging thing about the fragrance, is that you only have very few elements to tell your story with it. There’s the bottle, the name and then there’s the ad campaign. Fortunately we had this image in mind right away. And we love the work of Andrew.
Good Fortune is also fully customizable with engravable unique mystical charms, from moon to astrological signs. How did you come up with this idea and why do you believe it is the perfect addition to the playfulness of Good Fortune?
Viktor: We understand that it’s always very appreciated if people can personalize their bottle. It’s something people love to do. It’s just a really lovely, small token making it more your own.
Interview by TIMOTEJ LETONJA & JANA LETONJA