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Miyake’s New Body

NEW YORK — The L’Eau d’Issey body care line is striving to shed its secondary role.<br><br>Since launching as an ancillary collection alongside Issey Miyake’s inaugural fragrance a decade ago, the body care line has evolved...

NEW YORK — The L’Eau d’Issey body care line is striving to shed its secondary role.

This story first appeared in the July 5, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Since launching as an ancillary collection alongside Issey Miyake’s inaugural fragrance a decade ago, the body care line has evolved into a “highly developed” business on its own, accounting for 18 percent of total sales for the Miyake brand, said Maggie Ciafardini, executive vice president and general manager of Miyake’s fragrance licensee, Beauté Prestige International.

Now, the company is supplanting the original line with a totally new, technologically advanced body care assortment with a twist — a lighter “softer” version of L’Eau d’Issey. As a result of the re-launch, the fragrance and four body products are together seen grabbing a quarter of total sales for the Miyake brand. At least that’s the goal of executives.

The new line is set to debut in September. Though Ciafardini refused to talk numbers, 25 percent of the Miyake business would translate to first-year wholesale sales of approximately $7.5 million in the U.S.

The idea is “to make Issey Miyake more of a lifestyle fragrance,” Ciafardini said, and “to provide the newest technology that Shiseido can bring.” BPI is wholly owned by the Japan-based cosmetics giant, which is no stranger to enhancing product offerings — including, most recently, its Pureness skin care line — with new technologies.

“It wasn’t treatment before,” Ciafardini said of the original L’Eau d’Issey body care line. “It was more of just a moisturizer, more about its scent than its properties.”

The new assortment contains rice extracts that are rich in complex proteins, which are said to smooth and protect the skin, according to Carole Nicolas, vice president of marketing. Additionally, Ciafardini noted, products contain a substance called sodium hyaluronate, which has been found to mimic the role of a naturally occurring dermal moisturizer called bio-hyaluronic acid. “It reaches outside the fragrance arena and bridges into treatment,” she said.

The night fragrance, which contains a 2 percent concentration of essential oils, is billed as part of a regimen also including warm blankets and herbal tea. “It’s an intimate and softer version of [L’Eau d’Issey],” said Nicolas. “It provides soothing and relaxing properties because the perfumer chose lotus flower as a key heart note and tuberose as a key base note.”

The scent, blended by Jacques Cavallier of Firmenich, also contains notes of rose, peony, carnation and heliotrope. The 3.3-oz. bottle is priced at $52. The rest of the line consists of a body lotion, $45 for 6.7 oz.; a body cream, $58 for 5.2 oz.; a shower gel, $40 for 6.7 oz. and a deodorant spray, $32 for 3.3 oz.

Brothers Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, a Paris-based architectural design duo (aka Freres Bouroullec), created the line’s ethereal blue-and-white bottles — their first packaging project. The four original sku’s have a beige motif.

The new collection will arrive in Nordstrom on Sept. 7 for a one-month exclusive. The night fragrance will remain exclusive to Nordstrom until January, but the rest of the line will hit counters in BPI’s 700 specialty and department store doors in October. Following a two-week exclusive in September at Paris’ Galeries Lafayette, the collection will begin a worldwide rollout. By late-October, the brand’s 8,000-plus international doors in roughly 110 countries are expected to have the collection.

Between September and the holidays in the U.S., 3 million blow-ins will appear in Nordstrom catalogs. BPI will also conduct a cross-sampling campaign in which a 10-ml. packette of the new body lotion — seen as the eventual top-selling sku in the line — will be packaged with bottles of the original L’Eau d’Issey.