Norell’s New Fragrance Comes With A Portrait Series By Michael Avedon

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Today, every recognizable fashion brand has its own perfume, but at a time when that concept was yet to be à la mode, the house of Norman Norell was the first American designer to launch their’s back in 1968. But Norell was initally a ready-to-wear label that gained traction by fusing old-world glamour with trend setting, quickly earning the patronage of the most notable fashion icons in American history. Jackie O, Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, and Lady Bird Johnson were regulars at the Seventh Avenue showroom location. Almost all of the designer’s trademark silhouettes from the 1960s—leopard print, sequined evening looks, mermaid gowns, jumpsuits, capes, and culottes—were seen as groundbreaking then and are still relevant today, influencing top names in high fashion like Tom Ford and First Lady Michelle Obama who wore a vintage Norell dress to a Christmas back in 2010.

After eight years of success with his own label, Norell entered the then-small namesake fragrance category, which has since grown to be worth an estimated million dollars. Inside of the original deco-shaped bottle was the first burst of “green floral” that anyone had ever smelled, paving the way for so many of today’s popular scents. It wasn’t until 2015 that Norell came back with a remastered version of the original formula, containing over 200 jasmine petals and one of the most indulgent ingredients to ever be bottled: Orris butter.

The next chapter of this fragrance family comes to us now at end of 2016, with the induction of an altogether new scent called Norell Elixir. Geared towards today’s generation of Jackie and Marilyns, it’s fittingly less feminine and woodier than its predecessors, with a blend of Peruvian pink pepper, Indian tuberose, and crystalized patchouli.

In honor of the new Elixir, the house has enlisted photographer Michael Avedon and CR Fashion Book to tell the story of the brand’s legacy and to continue its new narrative for the 21st century. Here, we reveal a sneak peek from the upcoming portrait series featuring a majestic portrayal of former New York City ballet dancer and icon in her own right, Mary Helen Bowers.

Stay tuned to to see the rest of Avedon’s portrait series for Norell.

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