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Calvin Klein: Building on the Classics

NEW YORK — At Calvin Klein Cosmetics, classic brands are showing off new facets.<br><br>In the midst of a flood of new launches, the company is building on its classics by releasing three new takes on existing scents: Eternity Purple Orchid,...

NEW YORK — At Calvin Klein Cosmetics, classic brands are showing off new facets.

In the midst of a flood of new launches, the company is building on its classics by releasing three new takes on existing scents: Eternity Purple Orchid, Sheer Obsession ancillaries and CK One in graffiti-inspired bottles.

“We began the strategy of building on existing strong brands last year, and it has been tremendously successful,” said Hilary Dart, president of Calvin Klein Cosmetics, noting that the strategy will continue at least throughout the first half of 2003. “It speaks to consumer needs for innovation and uniqueness, while building on brands they already know and enjoy. Each of these new initiatives speaks to core values of the brand.”

Eternity Purple Orchid — which features top notes of water lily and dewy greens; heart notes of purple vanilla orchid, purple plum, freesia and white peach, and a dry-down of textured woods and skin musk — hits counters in late January 2003, immediately prior to Valentine’s Day, noted Dart, and will be on counter through Mother’s Day. The bottle is the classic Eternity glass rectangle cast in purple with a silver spray top, tucked inside a translucent purple Lucite box. It will retail for $44 for 1.7 ounces. Last year, the firm offered a one-off fragrance called Eternity Rose Blush. International Flavors & Fragrances created the original Eternity, as well as both Purple Orchid and Rose Blush.

Sheer Obsession, first launched as a limited-edition one-off of Obsession last year, did so well that the company decided to make it a permanent part of the line, said Dart. The scent is comprised of top notes of mandarin, bergamot, vanilla and subtle green nuances; middle notes of jasmine, orange blossom, sandalwood and exotic spices, and a dry-down of warm amber, incense and musk. Ancillaries join the lineup in April — a 4-oz. foaming bath and shower mist, $24.50, and a 4-oz. hydrating body shimmer, $30. Both are packaged in soft-touch bottles with pewter caps. As well, a 100-ml. size of the scent joins the lineup, retailing for $50. Sheer Obsession’s juice is by Givaudan.

For the CK One packaging, the brand turned to three well-known graffiti artists: Espo, Futura and Delta. A take on the CK One logo was designed by each of the artists, and integrated into each bottle’s design. New York–based Espo’s design is a frosted bottle with three figures on it; New York–based Futura’s is a clear bottle with running figures, and Amsterdam-based Delta’s has a stylized building. “The bottles tap into the street culture,” said Dart. “The edginess of the art meshes perfectly with CK One’s image.” According to Dart, the cutting-edge spirit started at the top: The three artists were reportedly handpicked by Calvin Klein and Fabien Baron. Each of the three 3.4-oz. bottles retails for $38. CK One’s juice is by Firmenich.

This story first appeared in the November 22, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

All three of the new items will be available in the brand’s full global distribution — about 2,000 department and specialty stores in the U.S. and about 20,000 doors in 90 countries worldwide. While Dart wouldn’t comment on sales projections, industry sources estimated that together the new products could do $5 million in their first year on counter in the U.S., while globally they could do as much as $25 million in their first year on counter.

The advertising and promotional campaign will include single pages highlighting Eternity Purple Orchid and CK One; Dart noted that the brand has not advertised Obsession in about three years. “For Obsession, we invest in brand awareness rather than advertising,” she said. While Dart wouldn’t comment on advertising and promotion spending, industry sources estimated that the war chest in 2003 for the new launches would top $7 million globally and about $1 million in the U.S.