By  on January 11, 2002

BARCELONA -- Puig beauty and fashion group has signed a worldwide manufacturing and distribution license with Hussein Chalayan for his first signature scent, due out in 2003 -- at the earliest.

The Turkish-born, London-based designer is considered one of the brightest fashion talents, well acclaimed for his conceptual approach.

The Chalayan brand will become part of a stable overseen by the Puig Prestige Beauty Brand (PPBB) division that already comprises the Puig-owned brands Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne, Nina Ricci and Payot. At the same time, the Chalayan brand is expected to kick off a new subdivision of trendy designer fragrances into which a second name is expected to be added soon, said Jose Manuel Albesa, general manager of the Carolina Herrera brand and the executive overseeing the fledgling business.

"We were looking for someone to translate the fragrance business in a different way," said Albesa, who is currently assembling a team from various sectors to help develop the Chalayan project.

Javier Cano, Puig beauty and fashion group chief executive officer, said: "There is a lack of creativity [in the fragrance industry]. All the well-known designers are already placed [in companies developing their scents]."

So Puig turned to imaginative upstarts. Chalayan's cutting edge style has earned him a name with tremendous potential.

"There is good chemistry" with him and the group, said Manuel Puig, president of PPBB. Also, Puig explained, the new Chalayan brand is a strategic plus, since the addition of a designer with Anglo-Saxon roots makes for a good mix with Puig's other more Latin holdings. Puig also said the young brand helps round out the company's selection of comparatively established prestige names.

Chalayan could not be reached for comment.

Puig is not the first to realize the beauty of inking fragrance deals with young designers. Recently, Japan's Kanebo signed on Italy's Costume Nationale and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton's Givenchy Inc. and Gucci Groups' YSL Beaute have made a practice of signing dealings with rising stars.

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