Once we had been entrusted with the art direction and the overall design of the Herrera Confidential project by Carolina Herrera New York, we realised the scale of the project. Starting as an assignment involving the design of a press dossier book, the Herrera Confidential project expanded to include an exclusive press kit case, two microsites, many diverse promotional pieces, as well as the overall art direction of the whole project. Carolina Herrera is a fashion label with a worldwide renown whose unique elegance has been chosen during years by some of the world’s leading ladies, from style icon Jackie Onassis to actress Renee Zellweger and USA first lady Michelle Obama, contributing to the creation of a fashion empire. In 1981 fashion designer Carolina Herrera launched her flagship Carolina Herrera brand in New York, starting its impressive rise to the top of the fashion industry.
With Herrera Confidential, Carolina Herrera de Báez, creative director of CH’s fragrances and Carolina’s daughter, creates an exclusive collection consisting of six fragrances and four essential oils, designed to capture the essence of the House of Herrera. Inspired by middle eastern traditions and the ritual of layering scents, the collection challenges the contemporary and traditional: perfumes and oils can be mix and matched to create your own Herrera Confidential scent.
An exquisite and elegant book
The project initially involved the design and art direction of a distinguished publication exploring the fragrances’ universe and the confidential stories behind them, opening the doors to the private and fascinating history of the Herrera family. The conversation between Carolina and her daughter de Báez opens the book and delves into the legendary figure of the founder of the New York-based fashion brand. A wide section of the history of the Herrera family focused on Carolina de Báez who is inspired by the legacy of her mother, created these fragrances which aspire to be a metaphor to the family’s elegance, glamour and luxury. The aspirational universe of the fragrances, their story and the universe behind each perfume is presented in the last section.
The dossier is an example of sophisticated luxury, with a gold foil embossed title on a black cloth covered hardbound book.
In the inside, the publication maintains a timeless elegance by pairing a classic Bodoni typeface with the austerity of the sans-serif Folio with the dark charm of black and gold. The page layout is structured in such a way as to highlight the rich and diverse visual content. Arjowiggins and its collection of creative papers has been chosen as one of the suppliers for the publications. An exquisite golden lamination finish on the page edges gracefully caps the publication.
Luxury and worldly elegance needed to be the pillars of our work. We were asked to conceive and develop a stylish press kit for the Herrera Confidential’s launching campaign special events. Bottled in the world’s finest glass, stamped with the initials of the House of Herrera, the six iconic fragrances and essential oils —in bold jewel tones— are enclosed in the black case we conceived for Herrera Confidential. Being carefully produced seeking the right balance between luxury and mystery, the black case manufacturing process has been led with huge attention to detail. The black lacquered wood and the essential enigmatic look distinguish the kit, which will contain the perfume bottles and the press dossier. In addition to this precious case, we conceived the Set of Miniatures: the tiny cases containing the perfume vials were designed for smaller press conferences, as a sample version of the precious and limited press kit case.
Meeting Carolina Herrera’s needs
The project development has been long and demanding, yet full of professional satisfaction. Art directing the Herrera Confidential press kit meant counting on a widespread network of collaborators. Photographers, illustrators, copywriters, designers, painters: many diverse professionals were reunited to meet the needs of such an ambitious project for one of the world’s leading fashion brands.The sketchy colourful illustrations of the perfumes bottles were realised by the artist Pol Montserrat; the illustrator David Downton —one of world’s leading fashion artists and long-standing CH’s collaborator— was asked to give a personal interpretation of the fragrances from the collection. In his six paintings, the artist’s vision mixes fashion and fragrances, colours and abstractions in an outstanding result.
The conversation between mother and daughter has been cured by the agency The Hunter, who interviewed the two fashion designers in their headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. While the portraits of Mrs. Carolina and Mrs. de Báez accompanying their words were chosen among the beautiful pictures taken by photographer Paul Maffi during an exclusive photo session in New York. In the press dossier we present every essential oil by embedding each of them in a wider universe of sensations, objects and scents: we commissioned the photographer Marçal Vaquer and the set designer Cristina Ramos to recreate these seducingly exotic and atemporal nature morte for the publications.
As an online counterpart of the Herrera Confidential project, two microsites were designed. The main web page gathers the information around the Confidential project, maintaining the graphic elegance and sophisticated simplicity which characterises the image of the whole project, from print to web. The digital press dossier offers the user a wide overview on the premium perfume collection, as well as providing the chance of receiving press material and information about Herrera Confidential. The fragrances and essential oils single pages disclose the products’ peculiarities and details, presenting sketches and artists’ visions of the fragrance, as well as matching proposals with other products of the collection in the section The art of layering scents.
The house of Herrera is a reference within the world of fashion and fragrance. On Facebook they have +2.5m followers, while on Instagram they have +1.7m. The introduction of CH Confidential as a product received quite some coverage and visibility, with related posts, using the #HerreraConfidential hashtag receiving up to +40k likes per post. CH Confidential was also featured by a lot of media, mainly by those focussing on fashion and beauty, including some of the biggest ones in the field like Vogue (+8.5m followers on Facebook), L’Officiel ES (+12k followers), Harper’s Bazaar (+3.6m followers) and VELVET Magazine (+60k followers).
“I think CH Confidential was the project that filled me the most. It felt like a rerun of my life, from my infancy up until the last 20 years I have been working with Carolina Herrera.” Carolina Herrera de Báez in Magazine
From the Middle East to the world
The Herrera Confidential launch event held in Dubai got the attention of media from all over the world. Major fashion influencers, celebrities, trend journalists attended the event which introduced the perfume collection at the presence of Carolina Herrera and her daughter Carolina Herrera de Báez. Among others, The New York Times Style Magazine gave visibility to the event and people from all over the world shared opinions and comments on the new collection under the hashtag #HerreraConfidential.