PARIS — Coty Beauty has just won itself a new license — Italian denim and fashion brand Miss Sixty.
The long-term global beauty deal was inked last week, just days after Coty Inc., Coty Beauty’s parent company, announced a beauty licensing agreement with music and fashion maven Kimora Lee Simmons.
“Miss Sixty is an incredibly appealing and glamorous fashion brand that will greatly complement our portfolio,” said Michael Robinsohn, vice president, marketing and new licenses at Coty Beauty Europe.
Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of international marketing at Coty Beauty Europe, agreed. “Miss Sixty is clearly one of the hippest and trendiest brands in the world,” he said, noting the brand has a young, fun feel and global appeal. “All that it stands for can be translated into a fragrance.”
Indeed, a debut scent is already in the works and is set to bow in fall 2005.
“For our customer, fragrance is a way to find another moment of enjoyment with something that [evokes] the same emotion as our jeans,” said Renato Rossi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Sixty SpA, Miss Sixty’s parent company. “It’s nice to be able to find that in another place.”
Since Miss Sixty was founded in 1989 its focus has been on building the brand internally, Rossi said.
“We think now is the right time to add more to the brand,” he said. “[By entering the beauty category] we’re choosing something that gives [back] to the brand in terms of image, communication and product.”
Miss Sixty’s fashion business, which is expected to generate volume of about 640 million euros, or $794 million at current exchange, this year, is also looking to sign licensing agreements for watches and jewelry in the future, Rossi said. A partnership to create handbags may also be in the cards. The brand’s beauty offer could also be expanded to include other categories, such as color cosmetics, executives said.
The new addition to Coty’s beauty portfolio, which will have a “masstige” positioning, is meant to tap into Miss Sixty’s core clientele, hip 18- to 25-year-olds.
This story first appeared in the October 1, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It’s definitely an age group we needed to strengthen,” said Robinsohn. “They’re [big] consumers of fragrance, they’re experimental and like to try new products by labels they like and that are relevant to them.”
He added Miss Sixty has an average of 80 percent brand recognition among women aged 18 to 25 in Europe. With those figures in mind, Coty will introduce the brand’s beauty offer there first.
“Europe will be the centerpiece of the launch as it’s the market with the highest awareness of the brand,” said Mormoris. “We’ll be closely watching the U.S. as awareness grows and will consider launching there as well.”
Price points for the brand’s products will be in line with the lower end of the selective scale, and items will be sold through perfumeries, department stores and, in some markets, drugstores.
Miss Sixty will join Coty’s other midtier brands, which include Celine Dion, Isabella Rossellini, Esprit and Pierre Cardin.
“Masstige is a growing segment throughout Europe,” said Robinsohn, adding Coty believes it is a market with strong growth potential in the future.
Mormoris is also bullish about the segment, noting that Coty has made a point of not compromising on the quality of the products it produces, though they’re sold at lower price points.
“We’re reinventing mass,” he said. “In fragrance and cosmetics we’re creating strong lifestyle brands that make emotional connections with consumers and offer high-quality experiences at accessible prices.”
And it looks like Coty’s licensing spree isn’t over. Mormoris hinted that news of more deals will likely surface over the next six months.
“Our intention is to become the leader in the fragrance world with products at many price points — low, medium and high,” he said.
— Brid Costello