This story first appeared in the September 3, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
1904 François Sporturno moves to Paris, adopting the name Coty and launching his first fragrance, La Rose Jacqueminot, in a Baccarat-designed bottle.
1908 Coty opens his first shop at 33 Place Vendôme in Paris, and commissions jeweler René Lalique to design fragrance bottles. An early design, L’Effleurt, was an instant success.
1914 Coty introduces face and scented body powders.
1917 Coty launches his most celebrated scent, Chypre.
1918 American soldiers returning home from World War I bring back perfumes from France to America, expanding Coty’s visibility in the U.S.
TWENTIES Coty produces more than 15 new fragrances, including Emeraude (1921), Paris (1922) and L’Aimant (1927), and enters the Italian, Swiss, German and Spanish markets.
1921 Coty launches the Emeraude fragrance.
1922 Coty launches the fragrance Paris, opens a London subsidiary and establishes its New York headquarters at 714 Fifth Avenue, in what’s now Henri Bendel. Lalique designs pressed-glass panels for the facade.
1925 An estimated 36 million women worldwide use Coty face powders.
1934 François Coty dies, but his family keeps control of the company and remains on the board of directors until the Sixties. Also in 1925, an estimated 36 million women throughout the world used Coty face powders.
1935 Coty introduces “Air Spun” face powder.
1939 Shares of the new Coty Inc., composed solely of the company’s American assets, are traded on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time.
FORTIES In the Forties, Coty solidifies its position as a leading manufacturer and marketer of fragrance worldwide.
1941 Coty adds Muguet des Bois.
1942 The Coty American Fashion Critics Awards are established in New York to help the fledgling American fashion industry. The annual awards continue until 1985.
1946 Lancaster, which later will be grouped with Coty under ownership of Joh. A. Benckiser, opens its Monaco factory-headquarters.
1947 Lancaster launches its eponymous skin care line.
1955 Coty introduces Coty 24, a long-lasting formula, and significantly increases its share of the American lipstick market. This same year, Coty Germany is formed, tied to another privately owned cosmetics company, Margaret Astor.
SIXTIES Coty is the third largest fragrance company in the U.S., with scents such as L’Aimant, Emeraude, L’Origan and Paris. Lancaster establishes a flagship and Institut de Beauté in Paris.
1962 The Coty International Corp. files its Listing Application with the New York Stock Exchange.
1963 Coty is U.S. leader in loose powder sales, and shares second place in the lipstick category with Max Factor, following first-place Revlon. Also in 1963, Pfizer Inc. of New York acquires Coty Inc. and Coty International Corp.
1969 Coty introduces Masumi fragrance.
1971 Lancaster introduces Lancaster sun care.
1972 Jovan Musk for Women debuts, setting a milestone for a company that also will become part of the Benckiser beauty group under the Coty banner.
1973 Jovan Musk for Men debuts.
1981 Coty launches Stetson, which remains the number one U.S. mass market men’s fragrance until 1995.
1981 Jil Sander Bath and Beauty debuts as part of Lancaster.
1981 Coty launches Amando men’s fragrance.
1984 Lancaster launches Davidoff Classic.
1985 Adidas Classic launches.
1986 Lancaster launches Zino Davidoff.
1986 Coty launches Lady Stetson, which stays in the top 10 U.S. women’s fragrances until 1995.
1986 Jil Sander Woman III debuts.
1987 Lancaster launches Joop Femme.
1988 Coty for the first time holds the number one position in the U.S. mass market fragrance sector, and launches ex´cla·ma´tion, which remains among the top five U.S. women’s fragrances until 1996.
1988 Lancaster launches Davidoff Cool Water and Joop Le Bain.
1989 Lancaster launches Jil Sander Sun.
1989 Lancaster launches Joop Homme.
1989 Aspen debuts at Coty.
1989 Coty introduces Crossmen men’s scent.
1990 Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH, a German specialty chemicals manufacturer based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, acquires Beecham’s European cosmetics business (including the Lancaster, Davidoff, Jil Sander, Astor and Adidas brands) and the Joop fragrance license.
1990 Lancaster launches Davidoff Relax.
1990 Adidas Active Bodies launches.
1991 Lancaster launches Jil Sander No. 4.
1991 Lancaster launches Chopard Casmir.
1992 Coty Inc. is acquired by Benckiser as a continuation of its bid to diversify into consumer products. This paved the way for the organization of the group into two divisions, the Coty Division for mass market brands and the Lancaster Group Division for prestige brands.
1992 Lancaster launches Joop Nightflight.
1992 Coty launches Adidas Adventure.
1993 Peter Harf, who had been chairman and chief executive officer of Joh. A. Benckiser since 1988, is also named ceo of Coty.
1993 Coty launches Vanilla Fields, which quickly becomes its top-selling fragrance brand. It also introduces Miss Sporty and Adidas Sport.
1994 Coty’s US subsidiary acquires Quintessence Inc., a leading Chicago-based manufacturer of midpriced fragrances and personal care, with brands including Jovan and Aspen.
1994 Coty launches Chanson women’s fragrance.
1994 Global headquarters moved to New York from Weisbaden, Germany.
1995 Isabella Rossellini, former longtime face of L’Oréal’s Lancôme brand, joins Lancaster as vice president for product development.
1995 Benckiser acquires General Cosmetics (the Netherlands) and Beauty International (U.K.), which are consolidated under the Coty Division umbrella. Coty moves into new markets, including Poland and the Czech Republic, and the Coty Division maintains subsidiary companies in 20 countries.
1995 Lancaster launches Nikos Sculpture Homme and Coty introduces Route 66.
1996 Benckiser announces that the holding company Coty Inc. will in the future encompass all its prestige and mass beauty brands. Coty Inc. acquires Unilever’s European makeup brands, including Rimmel. Joint venture formed with Yue-Sai Kan Cosmetics, giving Coty an entry into China.
1996 Lancaster launches Davidoff Cool Water Woman and Joop All About Eve. Coty launches Pret à Porter.
1997 Lancaster launches Chopard Wish and adds Robert Cankes as president of Lancaster Group U.S. Coty launches The Healing Garden, then introduces Adidas Original, Adidas Dynamic and Calgon.
1998 Lancaster launches Davidoff Good Life, Lancaster Colour and Vivienne Westwood Boudoir. Coty launches Aspen Sensation and Adidas Action, and signs a beauty licensing agreement with Esprit.
1999 Coty Inc. renames its two divisions Coty Beauty and Lancaster Group, reflecting its continued growth and diversification in the global beauty business. Coty adds Adidas Moves.
2000 Coty introduces Rimmel, a leading mass market color cosmetics brand in the U.K., to U.S. consumers via Wal-Mart stores. Today, Rimmel is one of the company’s global power brands. Coty initiates a corporate awareness campaign, “surprising beauty,” to emphasize the breadth, quality and scope of the company’s brands, and to rebrand the Coty name to the fashion industry and business community.
2000 Coty launches Adidas Fitness, Active and Energy.
2000 Lancaster launches Jil Sander Sensations, Joop Rococo, Chopard Pure Wish and Vivienne Westwood Libertine.
2001 Coty hires Bernd Beetz as its ceo, succeeding Peter Harf, who remains chairman.
2001 Coty launches Adidas Moves for Her, Adidas Ice Dive, Esprit scents+senses and Pierre Cardin Bleu Marine Pour Elle and Pour Lui.
2001 Lancaster launches Chopard Madness.
2002 Coty’s Lancaster Group signs a licensing agreement with Jennifer Lopez and introduces the first fragrance by Jennifer Lopez, Glow by JLo. Sales are more than $80 million in its first year. Coty Beauty, the mass market division of Coty, signs a licensing agreement with Celine Dion.
2002 Coty Beauty launches Rimmel London Glam, London Cool and Adidas Sport Fever.
2002 Lancaster launches Jil Sander Sun Men, Jil Sander Sensations and Joop Rococo for Men.
2002 Kenneth Cole New York women’s and men’s fragrances are launched by previous licensee, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
2002 Coty Beauty launches Isabella by Isabella Rossellini and Beat by Rimmel.
2003 Coty Inc. announces sales of $1.7 billion. Coty launches Still Jennifer Lopez, Adidas Adrenaline and Adidas 3 for men and women.
2003 Coty introduces Celine Dion Parfums.
2003 Coty launches Life by Esprit, Chupa Chups, My Manifesto by Isabella Rossellini, Adidas Active Skincare and Adidas Urban Spice.
2003 Coty launches mary-kateandashley and Stetson Untamed.
2003 Lancaster launches Jil Sander Pure, Echo Davidoff, Joop Muse and Nikos for Men.
2003 Lancaster Group acquires the fragrance licenses of Kenneth Cole and Marc Jacobs and launches Marc Jacobs Perfume Essence, Marc Jacobs Men, Marc Jacobs Aqua Glow Spa collection and Kenneth Cole Black.
2004 L’Oréal acquires Yue-Sai brand from
2004 Lancaster launches Davidoff Cool Water Deep, Black-Kenneth Cole for Her and Lancaster Aquazur.
2004 Coty relaunches its Adidas Male fragrance line and Adidas Game Spirit.
2004 Coty also launches Celine Dion Parfum Notes and Pierre Cardin Revelation.
2004 Coty turns 100.