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A New Legacy for Coach

Coach plans to bag up more beauty SALES with its latest fragrance, Legacy, due in mid-September.

Part of the Coach fall lineup.

Coach plans to bag up more beauty SALES with its latest fragrance, Legacy, due in mid-September.

This story first appeared in the August 29, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Over the last several years, Coach has expanded its reach into a host of complementary products, including eyewear, watches, knitwear, shoes and jewelry. Fragrance joined the portfolio in March 2007.

“Fragrance has added a level of femininity to the Coach brand, one that can only be added with beauty,” said Reed Krakoff, president and executive creative director of Coach. The $3.2 billion accessories brand’s 300 retail stores provide the perfect setting for the scent, Krakoff emphasized. The scent, like its predecessor, will be available exclusively in Coach stores and at coach.com.

“We’ve also used our stores to test other beauty categories, such as lip gloss and bronzer,” continued Krakoff. “But our approach to beauty is to allow the customer to discover it as part of the total Coach brand. It’s not about ‘I need to go to Coach to buy a lip gloss.’”

According to Krakoff, beauty as a total category has exceeded expectations thus far, and said his plan is to continue to launch new fragrances and new beauty categories to ensure a large portfolio for Coach. “Beauty is very integrated into our total portfolio,” he said. “It’s not something we do on the side. We’re committed to it.”

“We see beauty through a different lens with Coach,” said Jane Hudis, founder and president of the BeautyBank division of the Estée Lauder Cos. While a large chunk of BeautyBank’s sales are done through its brands sold in Kohl’s department stores, the Coach deal is the company’s luxury scent business. “There is no-holds-barred with this partnership. It’s about what is best for the brand, not about what is the least expensive.”

Legacy, concocted by Krakoff and Karyn Khoury, senior vice president of corporate fragrance development for the Estée Lauder Cos., in cooperation with Firmenich, has top notes of Italian bergamot, mandarin zest and freesia; a heart of precious orange flower absolute, gardenia brazil, honeysuckle and jasmine petals, and a drydown of creamy benzoin and warm cedarwood.

The fragrance will retail for $75 for a 1.7-oz. eau de parfum. The collection will also include an 8-ml. purse spray, priced at $45; an enameled metal lip gloss charm with peach and nude shades inside, $58, and a 6-oz. body cream, available in October, for $65. Coach will also add two ancillaries to its original Signature fragrance collection in November: a fragranced candle, priced at $65, and a 6-oz. body cream, $65.

Legacy’s packaging is influenced heavily by the brand’s Legacy handbag collection, launched about 18 months ago, and enamel bangles. The fragrance flacon is round glass etched with Coach’s logo and a multihued enameled neck in Legacy colors; a similar design is found on the lip gloss charm. Outer packaging also echoes this design.

“We want the packaging to be special, something that people will hold on to even after the bottle is empty,” said Krakoff.

Legacy is also intended to appeal to a sexier, younger consumer. “The first fragrance is the hardest because you’re trying to be all things to all people,” said Krakoff. “With the second scent, we have the luxury of narrowing our focus a bit.”

Scented national print advertising — featuring a model adorned with Coach jewelry, scarf and purse — is breaking in fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, including Elle, Lucky, Marie Claire, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue and Vogue. As well, more than one million vials on card and 30,000 deluxe samples will be distributed, and Legacy will also be promoted with scented strips in Coach’s fall and holiday catalogues.

While executives declined to discuss sales figures, industry sources estimated that Legacy could do $20 million at retail in its first year on counter.