NEW YORK —Coty Inc. is one of the most historic and multifaceted companies in the cosmetics business.
It goes back to 1904 when François Coty came to turn-of-the-century Paris to found what we now consider the modern fragrance industry. A century later, the company that bears his name has mushroomed into a beauty conglomerate with products running the gamut from mass to class, touching on every aspect from the fashion looks of Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole to the pop stardom of Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion. The company, whose volume hit $1.95 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, has a complex structure that took its final form in 1996.
The American arm of the firm started by François Coty grew into a mass market fragrance powerhouse before switching gears in the late Nineties as the mood dramatically weakened. It was in that decade that Coty joined with the other elements of its present configuration. In 1992 the company was acquired by consumer products giant Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH of Ludwigshafen, Germany. Two years earlier, Benckiser had purchased the prestige-oriented Lancaster Group from SmithKline Beecham of the U.K. The Chicago-based Quintessence — the mass market successor of Jovan — was acquired in 1994. Also, Benckiser bought the beauty brands of Unilever, including the mass market star Rimmel. The Coty, Quintessence and Rimmel brands provided a mass bulwark as a counterweight to the prestige trademarks of Lancaster, which include European names like Davidoff, Jil Sander, Wolfgang Joop, Vivienne Westwood and Chopard.
This dynamic decade of fusion was orchestrated by Peter Harf, the company’s former chairman and chief executive officer, who also moved the headquarters of the beauty conglomerate from Weisbaden, Germany, to New York. His entrepreneurial streak included forming an alliance with actress and longtime Lancôme face Isabella Rossellini, who joined the company in 1994 as vice president of product development. Five years later, a cosmetics line called Manifesto resulted. Harf also led the company into China by acquiring the business of Yue-Sai Kan. Although it was subsequently sold to L’Oréal, Coty executives said they learned much about the market from the Yue-Sai experience.
While remaining chairman, Harf was succeeded as ceo in 2001 by Bernd Beetz, who arrived with fresh energy and renewed focus. He signed licensing deals with Jennifer Lopez and Celine Dion, which reignited Coty’s position in the market and completely revamped industry thinking about celebrity fragrances in general. Beetz also acquired the fragrance licenses of Marc Jacobs and Kenneth Cole as part of his plan to penetrate the U.S. more deeply. These moves, plus the addition of the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen franchise, has the market speculating about what is coming next from Coty. For more, see stories in the following pages.— Pete Born
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)