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Escada Rockin’ Out

NEW YORK — Escada plans to rock into the new year with its newest fashion fragrance. <BR><BR>Called Rockin’ Rio, the scent was first unveiled at the Tax Free World Association meeting in Cannes, France, last week. It will roll out in...

NEW YORK — Escada plans to rock into the new year with its newest fashion fragrance.

Called Rockin’ Rio, the scent was first unveiled at the Tax Free World Association meeting in Cannes, France, last week. It will roll out in mid-December to about 300 U.S. specialty stores and will be in its full U.S. distribution of some 1,200 doors by April.

As with all of the brand’s fashion fragrances, Rockin’ Rio is based on an Escada apparel collection — this one, on spring 2005. Escada was one of the first fragrance brands to enter the flanker market in a serious way, and produces a fashion fragrance each year to add a shot of newness to the franchise, noted Don Loftus, president and chief executive officer of Cosmopolitan Cosmetics U.S. Inc., which handles the Escada beauty lines in the U.S. “The last incarnation, Island Kiss, was one of our strongest-ever fashion fragrances, and we’re seeing similar excitement from retailers about Rockin’ Rio,” said Loftus.

The fashion-related scents generally hit specialty stores first, Loftus explained, because of the traditional tie-in to the apparel collections. “We heavily cross-promote the scents and the apparel in specialty stores, then stagger the distribution to department stores,” he said. Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus will be among the first to get the scent, followed in the spring by May Co. and Federated doors, among others.

Nicholas Munafo, senior vice president of marketing, training and public relations for Cosmopolitan Cosmetics U.S., hinted that the brand was hoping for a top five placement with the juice. While neither Munafo nor Loftus would talk numbers, industry sources estimated that Rockin’ Rio could do $28 million at retail in its first year on counter.

Rockin’ Rio’s juice, by Drom’s Philippe Romano, has top notes of tangerine, pineapple and papaya; middle notes of pina colada, sugar cane, bush peach and dama de noite (a night-blooming Brazilian flower), and a drydown of driftwood, sandalwood and powder of musk. The fragrance bottle is a multicolored version of the original — starting with a pale amber at the base and moving through to hot pink, with a yellow cap. Those colors are repeated on the outer carton, which features a silhouette of a woman dancing.

This story first appeared in the November 12, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Rockin’ Rio line will include eaux de toilette sprays in two sizes, 1.7 oz. for $50 and 3.4 oz. for $70; a 5.1-oz. moisturizing body lotion for $32, and a 5.1-oz. bath and shower gel for $28.

While national advertising is not planned, the company will support the launch with a sampling campaign that is expected to get at least 500,000 vials on card and miniatures into consumers’ hands. As well, scented and unscented mailers, co-op radio advertising and a Mother’s Day gift set are planned.