By  on December 3, 2004

NEW YORK — Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have built a billion-dollar empire on cuteness. Over the summer, which began with their 18th birthday and ended with a move to the East Coast to attend New York University, the young women evolved from adorable to tabloid stylish. Now they want their fans (aka their consumer base) to mature with them.

The superstar pair and Coty Inc. have created a new fragrance duo called Mary-Kate and Ashley Coast to Coast, due to be launched in March. Designed to capture their jet-setting lifestyle that involves frequent trips from their apartment in the Big Apple to their home in Los Angeles, the fragrances present the Olsens as they are now. However, the scents will target a slighter younger consumer, girls 12 to 17 years old.

The Olsens and their Dualstar Consumer Products company have geared the marketing of their products to target multiple age groups. For example, the girls teamed up with Aquafresh last year to create a toothpaste for kids. The toothpaste tube features a photo of the girls at age 13. “The consumer locks the girls into whichever life stage she is in at the moment,” said Sherryl Zucker, group marketing director, global fragrances, Coty Beauty U.S.

As they did for their first fragrance line, Dualstar and Coty have created two signature scents, Mary-Kate and Ashley LA and Mary-Kate and Ashley NYC.

The girls’ first fragrance line, Mary-Kate and Ashley One and Mary-Kate and Ashley Two, which bowed nearly two years ago in Wal-Mart stores, played off a twin theme. The original scents — housed in light blue and pale yellow packaging — were designed to appeal to the average 10-year-old. Since expanding their distribution beyond Wal-Mart into thousands of new doors in March, the fragrances have generated $1.4 million in sales (excluding Wal-Mart), according to Information Resources. “The success of fragrances proved that there was an audience for Mary-Kate and Ashley outside of Wal-Mart,” said the Olsens’ spokesman Michael Pagnotta.

This time around, Mary-Kate and Ashley were adamant about presenting themselves as individuals. Each girl, identified by an initial earring, is pictured by herself on one side of the rectangular package. A third side is reserved for the name of the scent, LA in blue letters against a white backdrop and NYC in hot pink against black.

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