By  on January 14, 2005

NEW YORK — Vera Wang is taking another trip to the retail altar this spring.

The iconic wedding dress designer is set to launch Sheer Veil, a limited-edition fragrance, in April — but she’s not inviting the masses, distribution-wise. While Wang’s signature scent is in 850 U.S. department and specialty store doors, Sheer Veil will be in just 320.

“We think this is the perfect strategy to add newness to the brand, while still maintaining the exclusive, aspirational positioning of Vera’s signature scent,” said Fergus Balfour, president and chief executive officer of Unilever Cosmetics International, which holds the Vera Wang fragrance license.

“Sheer Veil brings a sense of color, whimsy and modernity to the brand,” added Wang of the new flanker. “It plays off the classic, with a sparkling new fragrance and a bottle shimmering with color. It’s the perfect reflection of a modern bride.”

In fact, Laura Lee Miller, executive vice president for Vera Wang, sees the new offering as a way to address the burgeoning wedding business in a new way. “One of the hotter trends in the bridal market right now is the concept of ‘soft dressing,’” explained Miller. “That type of bride may wear a very fashion-forward gown — perhaps a sheath or something that doesn’t resemble a traditional gown. In a way, Sheer Veil is our soft-dressing fragrance, while Vera’s signature scent is our classic bridal fragrance.”

And Miller doesn’t rule out yet another fragrance engagement for the world’s most recognizable bridal brand. While she wouldn’t comment on specifics, industry sources speculated that Wang could come back with a new fragrance concept as early as next year.   

That suits Laura Klauberg, senior vice president of marketing for Unilever Cosmetics International, just fine: “We’re looking to keep Sheer Veil very limited, and it will be on sale only until the end of this year,” said Klauberg.

Sheer Veil was formulated by Jean-Claude DeVille of Firmenich, who also created the original Vera Wang scent. Sheer Veil has top notes of Champagne rose and Lavender Dream rose; a heart of dewy violets, and a base of white stephanotis, gardenias and white lilies. Its bottle is the shape of Wang’s signature scent, but rather than the gold-tinted juice of the original, Sheer Veil is a pale soft lavender — roughly the shade of the inside of the signature fragrance’s carton.

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