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Badgley Mischka in Deal With Riviera Concepts

NEW YORK — Mark Badgley and James Mischka are proving that they have serious designs on the fragrance game. <BR><BR>Candie's Inc., which purchased the duo's label from Escada USA last November, told WWD on Thursday that it has entered into a...

NEW YORK — Mark Badgley and James Mischka are proving that they have serious designs on the fragrance game.

Candie’s Inc., which purchased the duo’s label from Escada USA last November, told WWD on Thursday that it has entered into a global licensing deal with Toronto-based Riviera Concepts to produce fragrances and other beauty products under the Badgley Mischka name.

Under the terms of the agreement, Riviera Concepts will first launch a women’s fragrance in late spring 2006, which will be targeted to upscale specialty stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Future projects are expected to include men’s and bridal scents and an extensive lineup of ancillaries. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Riviera Concepts has a genuine affinity for our brand — the company is very devoted to it and passionate about it,” said Badgley. Mischka agreed. “We knew we wanted a partner that wasn’t a fragrance factory — someone that would take the time to make the product special, not just have it be one of a million other projects.”

Fragrance has been a longtime goal for the duo. It was rumored as far back as February 2002 that they were considering doing a fragrance deal, although talks were put on hold when Escada began discussing the possibility of selling the label in 2003. “We’ve wanted to do a fragrance for years and years,” said Mischka. “We’re thrilled that we’re now working on one.”

The duo are in the early days of development, but say that the first scent under the deal will be “like stepping into the Golden Age of Hollywood,” in Mischka’s words.

“It’s going to be sexy and glamorous and a logical extension of our brand,” added Badgley.

The fragrance deal comes after a flurry of other licensing deals recently for the Badgley Mischka name, which include handbags, eyewear, fur, accessories, bridal and couture licenses. The two noted Thursday that they have been “jetting to design meetings around the world” and have “quite a few other things in the works. Candie’s is aggressively, yet selectively, expanding the reach of the Badgley Mischka label.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Mark and James,” said Marg Spasuk, vice president of sales and marketing for Riviera Concepts. “They are so well-known for their elegant, sexy and sophisticated gowns, and together we will create a beautiful fragrance. We see the first scent as the beginning of a long relationship with lots of opportunities.”

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Riviera Concepts also handles the fragrance licenses for Lulu Guinness, Cynthia Rowley, Nanette Lepore, Alfred Sung, Bob Mackie and Adrienne Vittadini.

“Fragrance is always the pinnacle of a designer brand,” said Neil Cole, chief executive officer of Candie’s Inc. “It’s critical to building a brand and is great exposure. Riviera Concepts is a great fragrance partner for Badgley Mischka — they’re more of a boutique firm, and they’re going to put a lot behind this. They’re planning a multibrand strategy with great marketing and advertising both domestically and internationally. Badgley Mischka fragrance is a key pillar in our growth strategy and will benefit the brand with significant advertising and marketing exposure.”

Cole added that the company is continuing to examine brand extension possibilities for Badgley Mischka.