By  on August 6, 2007

LOS ANGELES — David and Victoria Beckham are betting that selling Americans on his and her fragrances won't be as hard as selling them on soccer.

The pair launched new masterbrand Intimately Beckham to the U.S. market at a small gathering Thursday evening at the Hotel Bel-Air, a stone's throw from their new Beverly Hills home. The scent duo — created with Coty Beauty, a division of Coty Inc. — follows Instinct by David Beckham, a men's fragrance released domestically a year ago.

"Why is this different from any other celebrity fragrance? The fact that [I] have spent a lot of time checking all the details," said Victoria Beckham, clad in a body-hugging Hervé Léger dress and towering Balenciaga heels. "We are not just saying, 'We are celebrities, put our name on it.' I love to be involved with the whole process."

But celebrity status has certainly proven lucrative for the Beckhams. David's professional move to the U.S. from Spain netted him a reported $250 million for Major League Soccer play with the L.A. Galaxy and related endorsement deals (although he's been injured and has yet to play a full game). For her part, Victoria is nurturing a lifestyle brand called DVB, which incorporates everything from jeans to sunglasses and could be worth $150 million at stores this year, according to industry sources.

The fragrance business, however, is no chump change. Industry sources estimate that the Beckham franchise of scents will generate $100 million in worldwide retail sales this year and double that amount next year. In less than 18 months, the Beckham lineup's revenues have surpassed Shania Twain's Shania by Stetson to land sixth in Coty's U.S. stable, still trailing behind fifth place Jovan.

"It looks like it will be the largest masstige fragrance in the world," said Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing for Coty Beauty. "There are other masstige fragrances like Mexx, maybe Naomi Campbell, but when we look at the worldwide market, the Beckham brand goes from prestige to drugstores to perfumeries. There are very few brands that have been that big, and we just have been growing in sales dramatically and in market share."

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