BARCELONA -- With the launch of Jil Sander Sun Men this spring, a new era will dawn on Jil Sander beauty.The men's scent is the first fragrance in which Milan Vukmirovic, the new artistic director of Jil Sander, has had a hand. Upon arriving at the company in 2000, he began concentrating on the product's image -- particularly its advertising campaign.The direction he took for the fragrance's visual is similar to that he's chosen for Jil Sander men's fashion. "I tried to open the scale of the men's wear," explained Vukmirovic, who said that one of the changes he made was to open the top two buttons of his models' shirts to evoke some sensuality and warmth. Likewise, he's added softness to the Sun Men campaign and the reworked ad for the women's Sun scent, which was launched 13 years ago. Both now show sun-dappled models outside.The single- and double-page visuals for Sun Men, shot by Craig McDean, feature a black-and-white picture of open-shirted model Jiri Schroeder gazing into the distance. Next to him is a white-and-orange Sun Men bottle. "It shows a man [full] of pleasure and well-being," said Frederique Bernasconi, marketing director of Jil Sander. "The man is comfortable, very serene, with a summer spirit."Air's Tho Van Tran worked with Vukmirovic on the campaign, whose tag line reads "Summer Inside You." It will break starting in May with single and double pages.There also will be "a heavy winter campaign," said Bernasconi.The Jil Sander project was unveiled to the press at a two-day event in Barcelona, which was chosen for its cultural roots and links with the sun and sea, according to Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty Inc., which holds the Jil Sander beauty license.Jil Sander, alongside brands such as Davidoff, Cool Water, Lancaster, Joop and Chopard, comprise Coty's Lancaster Group. It is the prestige division that Beetz expects will ring up double-digit growth over the next three years to become a $1 billion affair by fiscal 2005. As of June 30, 2001, 35 percent of Coty's sales were generated in the prestige retail channel. The firm's net sales in the period were $1.65 billion.While Beetz would not divulge how much the new Sun Men fragrance could contribute to the growth, industry sources estimate the new fragrance could ring up $20 million in retail sales during its first 12 months."What is Jil Sander Sun all about?" asked Bernasconi, who said it pertains to a man who's sure of himself and seductive. It's about "a state of mind, a touch of summer in everyday life," and also the values of simplicity, minimalism, purity and modernity found in Jil Sander fashion, she continued.The aromatic amber, woody fragrance was created by International Flavors & Fragrances' Beatrice Piquet and Alain Astori and contains numerous "radiances," or accords that include "intense energy," such as bergamot, calone and rosemary; "solar pleasure," which has nutmeg, white cardamom and plumeria, and "sensual emotion" counts woods such as cedarwood, amber and bio-musk among its notes.Likewise, there are interplays of contrasting elements in the packaging, created by Fabien Baron. The frosted white, square bottle is topped with an orange metal cap and orange writing down the right-hand side.The launch of Sun Men will begin in May in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Harrods in the U.K., Cyprus, the Mideast and duty-free. Then, in spring 2003, Italy, France and the U.S. are expected to get the scent. Sampling at the time of introduction will include 1.5-ml. and 2.5-ml. vials and 5-ml. miniatures.The short Sun Men line includes a 75-ml. eau de toilette spray for $31.30; a 75-ml. aftershave splash for $23.50; a 50-ml. facial moisturizing gel for $20; a 200-ml. allover shampoo for $14.80; a 75-ml. deodorant stick for $15.60, and a 150-ml. deodorant spray for $16.50. All of the dollar prices are converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for France. Jil Sander, which launched a women's Sun fragrance in 1989, currently has one other men's scent and five women's fragrances in its portfolio."Jil Sander Sun Men will not cannibalize the other men's fragrance [Sander for Men] at all," said Beetz, explaining it targets a younger consumer, who is about 20 to 30 years old.Jil Sander is among the best-sellers in German-speaking countries, he said. But the brand has been working to widen its geographic reach. It concentrated on expanding in Italy last year, for instance.In fact, there is an ongoing geographic push for all of the Lancaster brands. "We have a very strong base and still have a lot of potential to grow," he explained. "We have a very strong position in Europe, where we are number four." He said the division also has a strong position in China, though there needs to be a push of Lancaster brands into its surrounding countries. Likewise, the group will work to strengthen its presence in France.Beetz said the company also is actively pursuing other opportunities providing valuable synergies to become part of his business. New brands, therefore, could be signed on as early as this year. But the idea is not to add a plethora of small names to the Lancaster stable. "I want a short portfolio of rather big brands," said Beetz. However, he said the main goal is to concentrate on core brands. At Jil Sander, he said, new ideas are expected to come from the new designer. Vukmirovic, for his part, is up to the challenge. "I think it is time to break the rules of the market," he said. "It is very exciting."Next up for Jil Sander, he said, will be two new women's scents: one for 2003 and another in 2 1/2 years.
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