NEW YORK -- Ultima II has suffered another severe blow.
The Revlon cosmetics and fragrance division had been reeling from a decision made a month ago by May Department Stores to drop the brand. Now Federated Department Stores says it will phase out the business from all seven of its divisions.
Bloomingdale's chairman Michael Gould, who is also the head of parent Federated's cosmetics merchandising team, said Thursday that the decision was "based on the fact that we don't feel our long-term objectives mesh with their distribution policy."
May Co. also had said Ultima's distribution is too broad for its taste.
Without discussing specifics, Gould described the scope of Ultima's distribution as "a major rollout."
A Revlon spokeswoman said, "The growth of Ultima in other prestige stores will negate any long-range downside associated with Federated's decision. Revlon and Federated will continue their partnership on other Revlon brands," she said, referring to Alexandra de Markoff, among others.
Gould stressed that there has been no disagreement between the parties.
"They have been good and honest partners and I respect them," he said, referring specifically to Revlon president Jerry Levin and Geoffrey Donaldson, president of Revlon's department store group.
Neither was there a problem with the business, Gould added.
"The business over the past few years hasn't seen high growth, but it is not a business that's in the tank," he said. "The growth has been nominal. The issue is not sales increase -- it's what right for us."
Gould declined to break out Ultima's volume at Federated. But industry sources estimate that the brand does $15 million to $20 million at retail within the corporation. Ultima's May Co. volume had been estimated in the same range.
The phaseout will be delayed until May to avoid disrupting the important Mother's Day business.
Gould said the Ultima decision grew out of a normal process in which the cosmetics team evaluates each vendor to see "what marriages are worth building and what operations are worth investing money in."
Prior to the May Co. action, Ultima listed its distribution at 2,000 department stores doors. The New York-based R.H. Macy's dropped the brand in 1991, reportedly in response to Ultima's decision to enter J.C. Penney Co., although executives denied that was the reason.Dillard Department Stores of Little Rock, Ark., pulled Ultima out of a small fraction of its stores.
In early March, the St. Louis-based May Co. asserted that "Ultima's interest in broadening its channels of distribution beyond department stores has diluted its cachet." The company also said the Ultima business had been "sluggish." Revlon's Levin strongly rejected both charges.
The May Co. move had ignited widespread speculation within the cosmetics industry that it was an indirect response to the growing competitiveness of Penney's, where Revlon has a high profile. May Co. dismissed those reports.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)