The old Tiffany Building in Union Square downtown Manhattan was the secret venue for the official launch of `Beyoncé’ Heat’ the first signature fragrance from singer/songwriter/actress BEYONCE’. The cold, snowy night did not stop the crowds that gathered outside the venue to catch a glimpse of the superstar, but security was tight, strictly Obama style and the buzz was that several tried to `crash’ this private event but were deterred.

Upon arrival, we were escorted through a maze of dark passages that were illuminated with occasional red florescent lights that led to a smoke filled white room featuring platform of clear Lucite chairs facing a Lucite podium flanked by two large video screens. Champagne and lemonade were the drinks rendered by attractive waiters. After the formal presentation, guests were escorted to the third floor for the after-glow that featured several rooms decorated in the red and black theme of the event. DJ SOLANGE supplied music and we partied way into the night.

 The fragrance is produced by Coty Inc., the world renowned fragrance company and Steve Mormoris, Coty’s Senior Vice President Coty Global Marketing welcomed the VIP guests, giving some insight on `Beyoncé’ Heat’. “This is a historic milestone in the fragrance industry. We are breaking boundaries with television and print ads and the Internet. Beyoncé’ is known all over the world as a major media celebrity and this is our biggest launch, it’s more than just a fragrance,” revealed Steve. “She embraced the idea of empowering women, selling 120 million albums. Beyoncé’ is a musical phenomena, she’s a great collaborator in the making of a fragrance, like a athlete with her incredible work ethic, all together made it more exciting. We are very pleased to have you here tonight.” After only six days in Macy’s – the world’s largest department store, `Beyoncé’ Heat’ became the number one selling fragrance.

 Up close and personal with Beyoncé, I told her the winner of the recently concluded “Miss America” pageant Caressa Cameron sang her song `Listen’ and won the competition. Beyoncé’ was thrilled to get this information, she was even more thrilled to know that the new “Miss America” was African-American from Virginia. Beyoncé’s publicists Yvette Noel- Schure who is from Grenada reiterated that Caressa was the first Black winner since 2005 and only the eight Black winner in the pageant 89-year history…. Back to the launch – Beyoncé said she used to play with her Mom’s perfume bottles and was very instrumental in the design and packaging of the fragrance.

 “I wanted it to be original and not like the other celebrity scents. I want it to be everlasting; I wanted something that was very spicy, fiery, yet sweet. I wanted to empower women with this fragrance, I want them to feel that they can seduce any man in a room, its one of the reasons we choose the color red…. About the `Heat’ – I wanted something that’s very simple and wouldn’t go out of style, it was also important when a man ask: ‘What are you wearing?’ This fragrance is about confidence, strength and elegance. I want this to be around for a long time even when I am not here,” said Beyoncé’.

 The debut fragrance by Beyoncé’ is irresistibly sexy and seductive. It’s a modern, feminine scent with floral, fruity and woody notes, which delivers an unforgettable experience that blends elegance, passion and desire. “We were meticulous in creating a fragrance that everyone would love,” emphasized Steve. “The top notes are red vanilla, orchid, blush peach, Magnolia and neroli. Heart notes are honeysuckle nectar, almond macaroon and musk. The final base notes are sequoia milk wood, Tonka bean and amber.  We tested in Asia, Europe and North America; we have a fragrance that would work all over the world. Our logo and packaging reflect the concept of heat.”

 Beyoncé’ has also raised the bar in terms of working with the best in the business as far as film and video, so, for this campaign Coty rolled out the top players in those areas to bring the magic of `Beyoncé’ Heat’ to life. Jake Nava was the TV Advertising director who shot the steamy video and photographer Michael Thompson shot the print campaign. Both the video and print campaign were premiered at the launch and Beyoncé shared what it was like shooting the video; “It was like making a film, I was able to work with Jake who did `Crazy In Love’ it was steamy, yet very elegant.”

 Remembering her first experience with a fragrance, Beyoncé said; “My first memory of fragrance was my mother.  I would hear her stilettos on the floor; click – click – click and a warm smell would stay in the room as she moved by. This fragrance took two years in the making, its everything I could imagine, if there is one scent I would love, it would be this and I hope everyone could catch the fire.”


I met the beautiful KIM KARDASHIAN at the exclusive cocktail reception to launch eBay’s first Pop-Up Holiday Store in New York, which was hosted by Jamaican CONSTANCE WHITE, eBay’s Fashion Director and Spokesperson and ALAN MARKS eBay’s Senior Vice President and brainchild of the new eBay store experience. Kim, who is an eBay expert shopper, was on hand working the eBay website greeting guests and sharing the eBay shopping experience. Kim is the most down to earth, friendly and smart reality show star of the Hollywood set. She’s a shrewd businesswoman with a new fragrance, clothing line on eBay and several other endorsements under her belt. Also at the reception were: NATE BERKUS, Interior designer & TV host;

KRIS JENNER, Kim’s Mom; KATHY KALESTI, Vice President of Narciso Rodriguez fashion house; ANDREA LINNETT, Creative Director Lucky Magazine; ADAM GLASSMAN, Creative Director O Magazine and designer NORMA KAMALI.


Outrageous singer/songwriter LADY GA GA, known for her outlandish costumes and energetic over-the-top performances certainly has her head on straight and her heart in the right place. She just completed a successful

U.S. tour. For one of her last shows, held at Radio City Music Hall, Lady Ga Ga’s concert $500,000. Which she donated for the Haiti relief.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York hosted a lavish luncheon to honor celebrated philanthropist, fashion icon and founder of Ebony Magazine EUNICE W. JOHNSON. The luncheon was eight months in planning, but Mrs. Johnson passed away just a few days before the event. Her daughter LINDA JOHNSON-

RICE asked the organizers to go ahead with the luncheon which turned out to be a glorious tribute to this remarkable woman, a trailblazer in fashion who bought couture garments from Paris, London and Milan to the U.S. and staged the legendary `Ebony Fashion Fair for over fifty years. The touring fashion show, which covered the U.S. and the Bahamas, raised over $55million for education. The United Negro College Fund being the main recipient.

 The dapper President Bill Clinton addressed the gathering of New York’s finest fashionestas in the grand Temple of Dendur of the museum, stating that he saw the work and the partnership between Mrs. Johnson and her husband John H. Johnson did as they founded and grew Ebony Magazine, Jet Magazine, Fashion Fair Cosmetics and The Ebony Fashion Fair. “She had an ageless vitality that I hope will live on through these shows. Eunice Johnson found a way to use women love of fashion to do good. I am proud of the work Linda (her daughter) has done. This family has given a lot to this country and changed the way African-Americans see themselves. We’re all going to have to take Eunice as a role model and know, as long as you are doing good, you’ll be forever young.”

THOMAS P. CAMPBELL, Museum Director, HAROLD KODA, Curator in Charge, The Costume Institute, DONNA WILLIAMS, Chief Audience Development Officer and EMILY K. RAFFERTY, Museum President all spoke at the event. DESIREE ROGERS, The White House Press Secretary read a letter from PRESIDENT & Mrs. OBAMA. The event was attended by the crème-de-la-crème of New York’s movers and shakers in fashion, arts & media including: ANNA WINTOUR, Editor-In- Chief Vogue Magazine, ANDRE LEON TALLEY, Editor at Large Vogue Magazine, HARRIETTE COLE, Ebony’s current Style Director, AUDREY SMALTZ, PAT CLEVELAND, B.SMITH, GAYLE KING, WHOOPIE GOLDBERG, SUSAN TAYLOR, LA TANYA RICHARDSON, LYNN WHITFIELD, SUSAN FALES-HILL, CRYSTAL McCREARY ANTHONY, CONSTANCE WHITE, SHERRY BROFMAN, VERONICA WEBB, FRANCISCO COSTA, TERRI AGINS, ASHFORD & SIMPSON, GEOFFREY BANKS, ISABEL TOLEDO, MAURICE DU BOIS and DEBORAH ROBERTS.

By Walter Greene | Photographed by Peter Lindbergh | Published in Profiles98 Magazine – Spring 2010 issue 3

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