Coty Set to Bring Rimmel Brand Into China… French Group Ups Communication…

Coty Inc. plans to introduce its Rimmel color cosmetics brand in China in May via a licensing agreement with Tokyo-based Kosé Corp, the firms said Wednesday.

NEW YORK — Coty Inc. plans to introduce its Rimmel color cosmetics brand in China in May via a licensing agreement with Tokyo-based Kosé Corp, the firms said Wednesday.

The pact, which follows a 2006 deal between the two companies for Kosé to distribute Rimmel in Japan, calls for Kosé to manufacture and distribute Rimmel products in China. Kosé will initially begin importing and distributing Rimmel items including foundation, mascara, lipstick and eye shadow to selected department stores and drugstores in China in the spring.

The China deal is part of a larger initiative to grow Rimmel throughout Asia, according to Coty.

“By commencing distribution in China, Coty is accelerating the global brand presence of Rimmel and simultaneously continuing the elevation of Coty’s global presence,” stated Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty Inc. “We look forward to continuing our successful business alliance [with Kosé] that will continue to leverage Coty’s success in Asia.”

Kosé said it aims to leverage its experience developing and launching new products tailored to the Chinese market with Rimmel’s hip and edgy positioning to establish the brand as a leader in China.

“We are looking forward to expanding our strategic alliance with Coty and building upon our organizations’ collective strengths,” stated Kazutoshi Kobayashi, president of Kosé Corp. “We will combine Rimmel’s unique style with our expertise to develop and launch products that will appeal to the style of Chinese women.”

Rimmel, which was originally launched in the U.K.’s mass market in 1834, is carried in more than 50 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Japan and Oceania. The brand, which is currently fronted by Kate Moss, targets women in their late teens to late 20s.
— Michelle Edgar

French Group Ups Communication

PARIS — France’s Fédération des Industries de la Parfumerie is getting a makeover.

The cosmetics trade association said Monday it has changed its name to Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté (or French Federation of Fragrance, Cosmetics and Toiletries) and unveiled a communication strategy meant to boost consumer confidence in the beauty industry.

This story first appeared in the February 21, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The association, which represents 300 companies that together generate 97 percent of France’s cosmetics sales, also launched an informational Web site for consumers and unveiled a research program into well-being.

This follows a similar move by the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association in the U.S., which changed its name to the Personal Care Products Council in November.

The FEBEA name change was designed to reflect the scope of businesses FEBEA represents, which includes all cosmetics categories, while its proactive communication stance is a response to increasingly demanding consumers. “The consumer is becoming more and more vigilant,” said Alain Grangé Cabane, the federation’s president. “The consumer is very informed, but sometimes misinformed.”

A new Web site for consumers, called Parlonscosmetiques.com (“Let’s talk about cosmetics,” in English), went live Monday with the aim of assuaging increasing concerns over product safety and offering a behind-the-scenes view of the industry. It includes expert interviews and an ingredients guide, plus advice on using and preserving cosmetics.

FEBEA also plans to begin a study on French people’s attitudes to well-being later this year and has established a research program on well-being with a panel of eight experts, which includes Jean-Paul Marty, a dermo pharmacologist and cosmetologist, and Robert Rochefort, an economist and statistician. FEBEA will also help fund two to three research projects on well-being annually.
— Ellen Groves

Varvatos Dinner Fetes Launch

LOS ANGELES — John Varvatos hosted a dinner for VIPs at the Terrace Bar at Sunset Towers hotel here last week for the West Coast launch of his first women’s fragrance, which made its debut at Saks Fifth Avenue earlier this month.

The dinner, attended by Varvatos fans Priscilla Presley, Gina Gershon and producer Tracey Edmonds, reflected the designer’s passion for music. Also there were Velvet Revolver rockers Billy Morrison and Matt Sorum, as well as Camp Freddy frontman Donovan Leitch and composer Diane Warren.

On the day of the dinner, which was held Feb. 11, Varvatos hosted an informal event at his Melrose Avenue store to introduce customers to the fragrance collection.

Results of the event at the store were said to have included $40,000 in fashion sales, a quarter of which benefited the Stuart House charity for child victims of sexual abuse, and $2,000 in fragrance sales, all of which was donated to the charity.

Since its official Feb. 1 launch, sales of the designer’s women’s scent have totaled $25,000, exceeding its business plan by 40 percent, according to industry sources.

Customers will get another chance to sample the fragrance at Varvatos’ 6th Annual Stuart House Charity Benefit on March 9 at the Melrose store.
— Marcy Medina