“We believe it’s probably the most prominent brand that is not yet playing in the luxury beauty market,” said P&G Prestige vice president Luigi Feola.
Founded by the late Lee Alexander McQueen in 1992, the Alexander McQueen fashion label is currently part of Kering and designed by Sarah Burton, who has been with the company since 1996 and creative director since 2010. McQueen’s first foray into fragrance came in 2003 with the launch of Kingdom through YSL Beauté, then a division of the Gucci Group. In 2005, the brand introduced the My Queen scent, but when L’Oréal acquired YSL Beauté in 2008, McQueen’s beauty business did not make the cut, and the original fragrances have since been discontinued.
“It’s really exciting for us. We’ve been taking our time to reenter the market, to make sure we picked the right partner at the right time,” said Jonathan Akeroyd, president and chief executive officer of Alexander McQueen, adding: “The brand wasn’t mature enough then, but it’s quite well known that our business has grown.”
Noting the network of McQueen retail stores had vastly increased over the last decade and that brand awareness was high, Akeroyd said P&G Prestige was the perfect licensing partner because “they share our ambition for the brand.” He also said that designer Burton was “chomping at the bit” to get started on the fragrance line.
“We expect Sarah to play a significant role” in fragrance development, said Feola, adding the companies had many ideas for upcoming projects, but that it was too soon to discuss specifics or provide a launch date for the first perfume. The McQueen brand, he said, had a “strong equity” and consumer base, and “our launch will reflect that.” Feola also said it was too early to comment on the possibility of other beauty products in the future.
P&G Prestige has an array of luxury labels in its fold, including Hugo Boss, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Lacoste. The addition of McCartney and McQueen is part of a larger strategy to maintain a tight portfolio of high-caliber luxury brands, said Feola.