During the mid-80’s Monaco Group had already started licensing products under the ALFRED SUNG brand. It was coincidental that at the same time the Mimrans started looking for someone to produce an ALFRED SUNG fragrance, David Nugent, president of Insignia Group approached them with a proposal for such a venture. Nugent and Insignia Group had a stellar track record as a major Canadian distributor of fine fragrances and other beauty products including brands like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Nina Ricci. David had noticed the press related to ALFRED SUNG within Canada as well as in the U.S. and wanted to be part of it. During the first six months, the two companies talked concept to see if they could work together. Nugent shared Monaco Group’s views of aggressive marketing and promotion and they agreed to enter into a license agreement. They set out to create a product that was timeless and reflected the Alfred Sung style. It had to be an original and make a statement while being commercially viable. The juice and the essence was formulated in Paris by famed fragrance house Givaudan.
Macy’s, San Francisco during the launch of SUNG in 1986.
The renowned designer, Pierre Dinand, was engaged to create the bottle. He travelled to Toronto to be inspired by Alfred’s work and life. Alfred and Dinand collaborated to design the accompanying packaging. All was set, Canadian production started, advertising was placed in magazines and stores were stocked. A significant portion of the launch budget was poured into seven million scent strips as magazine inserts (three times the amount dispensed by any previous Canadian distributors). It was a massive effort even by today’s standards. At the time, Canada had yet to produce a best-selling women’s fragrance for the U.S. market, or for that matter, for itself – ALFRED SUNG was about to do just that.
On September 26, 1986, After almost 3 years of development, SUNG ALFRED SUNG, the original, was launched by Riviera Concepts Inc., a division of Insignia Group at Eaton’s , Canada’s department store. In four months they sold what they thought would be a two-year supply of the scent. “To launch a perfume in Canada was unheard of and to launch a Canadian perfume was insanity” said Nugent. Alfred was found just before the launch saying, “I hope that women are going to like it as much as I do.”
They certainly did. The fragrance went on to sell $6 million in the first year while struggling to meet demand. It was a big surprise hit for everyone involved and continues to sell worldwide over 35 years later - another record landmark in the fragrance industry.
A first submission sketch of the SUNG bottle by Pierre Dinand - July 25, 1986.
“I believe the scent has to have a relationship or connection to the clothing that I design. I think it should be the same kind of image. My scent is very pure and understated. It’s not heavy; it’s light, which I like, yet the staying power is long. It lasts for quite some time when you put it on. I think that’s very important. It’s elegant and the fragrance is made from all white lowers. White is my favourite colour” Alfred says of his signature scent.
The floral bouquet commences with a highly diffused top note of sparkling citrus, entwined with green floral nuances. The heart notes are full-bodied and a blend of beautiful feminine floral, highlighting Jasmine, Iris and Muguet white flowers. Subtle musk notes and precious woods add depth and richness.
SUNG remains current and embodies the expression of the spirited and innovative woman. It is the true reflection of Alfred Sung’s elegant designs and his dedication to women and their need for self-expression. SUNG is as timeless as Alfred Sung’s fashions.
Since the launch of the original fragrance, Alfred Sung has created over 20 unique and successful fragrance brands including PURE ALFRED SUNG in 1993, FOREVER ALFRED SUNG in 1995, SHI ALFRED SUNG in 2001, ALFRED SUNG PARADISE in 2003 and JEWEL ALFRED SUNG in 2005. Over the years, Alfred has become as well known for his fragrance collections as for his fashions. The ALFRED SUNG beauty and fragrance collection is currently licensed under Elizabeth Arden Inc.