On the cusp of New York fashion week, designers scramble to ready their collections for the public eye. Arranging for final fittings, sound checks, light staging and more – each aspect harmonizing in hopes to create an everlasting mark on the industry for each respective label.
In addition to the perfect lighting, styling, and venue, contemporary designers have learned to incorporate various other sensory dimensions to their shows beyond visuals in order to express their concept and stand out amongst their peers. With the introduction of scent on the catwalk, brands can elevate the memorability and impact of their fashion week showing in the minds of their guests, the most important players in the industry. In recent years, big names such as Manning Cartell, Max Mara, Scotch & Soda and Hugo Boss have all implemented scenting in their seasonal shows.
Ideally, a brand’s scent is as identifying as their logo. Often, a label’s signature scent can portray their personal brand’s essence in a way that simple visuals cannot. Scent is far more nostalgic and visceral to an individual, heading straight to our brain and creating memory association as well as the strongest emotional response out of all our senses. When combined with an experience, scent allows that interaction to be experienced in a more personal and intimate way. When employed over the duration of a fashion show, not only can the scent call to mind the central personality of a brand, but it can add a new dimension to the overall ambiance of the experience as directed by the designer. According to an experienced designer, scenting during a show “puts the guests, in a very subconscious way, into exactly the mood the designer wants them to be”. Whether the collection is comprised to create a feeling of shock, simplicity, or ingenuity, specialized scenting profiles can help express this mood seamlessly and wordlessly to guests.
The implementation of scent during fashion shows completes the overall experience. Guests visually watch the show, hear the complimentary soundtrack, and smell the mood as intended by the designer. With scent, the brand is able to tell a full story, creating a moment that exists outside of a time and place and that makes a lasting impact in one’s subconscious. In totality, scenting during fashion week helps brands bring their fashion fantasies to life.