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Anna Sui’s Got a Secret

Cosmopolitan Cosmetics and Victoria’s Secret Beauty are teaming up to launch Anna Sui's latest scent called Secret Wish.

NEW YORK — Cosmopolitan Cosmetics and Victoria’s Secret Beauty have a little secret for Anna Sui fans.

The two beauty giants are teaming up to launch the designer’s latest scent, Secret Wish, in Victoria’s Secret Beauty doors later this month, adding to the retailer’s portfolio of 13 private label scents.

While Victoria’s Secret Beauty has a few other third-party scents in its doors — French lingerie queen Chantal Thomass’ fragrance, for example — this pairing marks the first time that Victoria’s Secret Beauty has exclusively launched a fragrance that is not branded under its eponymous product line.

The introduction is part of a new strategy by the retail giant to introduce a wider range of outside brands into its Victoria’s Secret Beauty stores. It will be launched in the U.S. in about 50 of the retailer’s doors at the end of April.

“These are the top-performing markets — where we believe we’ll have the greatest opportunity to win,” said Sherry Baker, president of Victoria’s Secret Beauty. “We’re thrilled to have Secret Wish launch exclusively with Victoria’s Secret, and we think the beautiful scent and feminine positioning of Anna Sui’s newest creation will resonate with Victoria’s Secret customers.”

Baker and other Victoria’s Secret Beauty executives declined to discuss details for additional launches, but sources noted that the retailer is talking to a wide range of companies and could add multiple third-party brands across all beauty categories by yearend. The retailer has also established a separate marketing team to facilitate the entry of these brands — including color, fragrance, body care and skin care — into its stores. As well, Victoria’s Secret has identified a group of 10 Lab Stores to test various merchandising techniques, selling strategies and assortment concepts.

“Victoria’s Secret is a perfect place for Anna Sui,” said Don Loftus, president and chief executive officer of Cosmopolitan Cosmetics USA. “The customer who will love this product is shopping at Victoria’s Secret today, and this is a perfect way to meet a new customer and introduce her to the fragrance.” Sui will do personal appearances in Victoria’s Secret doors for the product at launch and the scent will be exclusive to Victoria’s Secret at least until August, said Loftus.

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The scent will also be launched in Europe in May, added Marine Gaertner, operational marketing manager in France for numerous beauty brands, including Anna Sui, Dunhill and Trussardi, which are licensed to Procter & Gamble’s Cosmopolitan division. It will be sold in Asia beginning this spring.

Secret Wish’s juice, concocted by Robertet’s Michel Almairac, is a musky, floral, fruity scent with top notes of lemon, tagete and melon. Notes of black currant and pineapple are at its heart, while base notes include white cedar, amber and musk.

The flacon, designed by Marc Wittenberg of Iconomy, has three faces decorated with floral designs. Its fairy-topped cap, meant to embody the fairy-tale aspect of Sui’s world, was created by Lisi Cosmetics. “It’s like a lucky charm,” said Gaertner. “All women think there’s a lucky star above us when something nice happens, or wish upon it when we want something to happen.”

Sui has a similar view: “With the way that the times are, we’re all looking for a little fantasy,” she said. “Fantasy is such an important part of my fashion, and it was an ideal concept for this brand.” Sui noted that the popularity of such movies as “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” adds strength to that point. “Everyone wants and needs to dream,” she said. “Childlike elements and adults believing in optimism are key elements of all my collections — and this fragrance follows that trend.”

Sui’s Secret Wish targets females aged 15 to 25, although Sui said, “While its initial appeal may be to a younger consumer, her mom will be buying it too.”

The single-page advertising campaign for the new scent  — which is being run in Europe and also may run in the U.S. later this year — was shot by Steven Meisel and features model Jessica Stam surrounded by sparkles, butterflies and flowers. There also will be samples, including miniatures and 1.2-ml. vials. In the U.S., initial marketing is being coordinated through Victoria’s Secret, although the ad likely will run in the U.S. this fall and the image will be used on tester units wherever the fragrance is sold. TV advertising is slated for both Asia and Europe.

Industry sources estimate Secret Wish will generate 400,000 euros, or $521,000, in wholesale volume in France during its first 12 months. In the U.S., sources estimated, the scent could do $25 million at retail in its first year.

In France, the eau de toilette will be available in 30-, 50- and 75-ml. sprays, which will sell for 29 euros, 39 euros and 54 euros, respectively, or $38, $51 and $70 at current exchange. In the U.S., eau de toilette sprays in 1.7-oz. and 2.5-oz. sizes,  $48 and $65 respectively, will be sold. Also available for the U.S. market: a 6.8-oz. body lotion for $30 and a 6.8-oz. bath and shower gel for $28.

Going forward, noted Baker, Victoria’s Secret will continue to develop a comprehensive strategy for the introduction of third-party brands at Victoria’s Secret across all beauty categories. “The strategy will evolve as we get results from initial tests,” she said. “One of the unique competitive advantages of conducting tests within our stores is that we can allow the customer to vote and then adapt the strategy to meet her needs. Introducing third-party fragrances aims to enhance the experience for Victoria’s Secret customers, whether it’s by offering a new olfactive experience or providing choice among products with a complementary positioning that leverage Victoria’s Secret brand equities. Whereas Victoria’s Secret products will always be dominant, third parties provide a unique opportunity for accelerated growth. And, with Secret Wish being exclusive to Victoria’s Secret, we are particularly excited about the potential.”

For her part, Sui is looking forward not only to launching the scent, but also interacting with her consumer at personal appearances at Victoria’s Secret Beauty and in selected doors in Taiwan and in London later this month.

“I get to meet everyone from young girls who come in with their mothers to design students,” said the designer. “I love to meet them — and I love for them to see that there actually is a person behind this brand.”