By  on February 1, 2005

NEW YORK — Can Enrique Iglesias give Tommy Hilfiger’s men’s fragrance business a needed jolt? The designer is about to find out.

Hilfiger’s fragrance licensee, the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division of the Estée Lauder Cos., has signed the singer — who, fittingly enough, is perhaps best known for his song, “Hero” — to a gig as the face of True Star Men, the male counterpart to the women’s fragrance the company launched with Beyoncé Knowles last fall.

So what do Knowles and Iglesias have in common, other than their day jobs as singers? According to Hilfiger, they have that certain je ne sais quoi that ensures consumer acceptance on a very wide scale. “Both Beyoncé Knowles and Enrique Iglesias have tremendous global appeal,” said Hilfiger, who joined the singer and Lauder executives for a clandestine interview during stopovers at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport (Hilfiger was on his way to Miami, while Iglesias was en route from there to Los Angeles). “Enrique is talented, creative and appeals to a tremendous range [of customers]. And for a superstar, he is so humble and down to earth. With him, what you see is what you get.” As well, said Hilfiger: “We are the number-one designer brand to the Latin community.”

And there’s another benefit to the pairing, said Hilfiger with a roguish chuckle. “The fragrance is sexy and it’ll help you get the girls.” Speaking of the typical user, Hilfiger said: “He can play Enrique’s music, light a few candles and see what happens.” That will likely come as welcome news to the 18- to 35-year-olds who are the scent’s target market.

While few details are known about True Star Men’s juice, Iglesias — who formerly wore Jean Paul Gaultier’s eponymous scent — has definite ideas of what he likes: subtlety.

“Really strong perfumes have been known to give me headaches,” Iglesias said with a smile.

The fragrance deal follows last week’s restructuring of Hilfiger’s apparel business, under which the designer plans to shutter his young men’s business and revamp his men’s, women’s and children’s divisions and his purchase in December of the rights to the Karl Lagerfeld brand. Hilfiger is also in the midst of an ongoing investigation into his company’s commission policies by the U.S. Attorney’s office. 

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