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YSL Beauté is making a play for the millennial man with its new fragrance.
Named Y — in part, a tribute to Yves Saint Laurent himself — the men's fragrance aims to embody the spirit of youth, and will launch globally on August 25.
“The vision and the strategy was very clear for us,” Stephan Bezy, international general manager for YSL Beauté, tells BoF. “It was to talk to a millennial target and offer them something that would be authentic, that would resonate with their aspiration.”
“It’s the Gen Y, it’s the symbol of youth, it’s of course the question, ‘Why?’ It’s the first letter of the first name of Monsieur Saint Laurent. It became evident [the name Y] was a natural choice,” he continues. “We went back to the DNA of the young Yves Saint Laurent brand that was created in the '60s, with a brand that resonates very much with the culture of its time.”
The accompanying campaign reflects this youthful, authenticity-focused philosophy, forgoing high-profile models or celebrities in favour of three young creatives: rapper Loyle Carner, sculptor David Alexander Flinn, and artificial intelligence researcher Alexandre Robicquet.
Bezy says the plan is to recruit a tribe of ambassadors with whom consumers can identify. “We wanted to have this different approach. We wanted to be at the roots of who those people are and we wanted to be very true to who we are.”
The launch of Y comes during a period of successful brand rejuvenation for the L'Oréal-owned company — last year YSL Beauté enjoyed 29 percent growth, surpassing €1 billion in sales — and marks the first major product launch for men since high profile makeup artist Tom Pecheux was appointed global beauty director back in January. — Tamison O'Connor
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