By  on August 1, 2008

Elizabeth Arden hopes to bring added urban appeal to department stores this September with 9IX Rocawear, the first fragrance to be launched under its Rocawear license.

In November 2007, Arden signed its fragrance licensing deal with Rocawear, the clothing label cofounded by hip-hop mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter in 1999 and now owned by Iconix Brand Group Inc.

Carter continues to be involved in the business and retains creative control over the fashion, and Arden said that Carter had a strong hand in developing the fragrance — but 9IX is not intended to be “a Jay-Z celebrity fragrance,” said Ron Rolleston, executive vice president of global fragrance marketing for Elizabeth Arden.

“The fragrance is going to be part of a global expansion strategy and part of a restage of the Rocawear apparel brand,” said Rolleston. “Certainly, Jay-Z is the creative force — we’ve met with him every two weeks throughout the process — but this is a fashion fragrance. He’s not the ‘face’ of the brand.”

Stated Jameel Spencer, chief marketing officer of Rocawear, “It couldn’t be a more exciting time for the brand, and working with Elizabeth Arden is sure to lead to blockbuster results.”

Arden’s Rocawear licensing deal is for both men’s and women’s fragrances, cosmetics and skin care, although Rolleston noted that Arden plans to focus on fragrance first.

“We’re targeting a consumer that we haven’t had the opportunity to communicate with over the last few years,” said Tamara Steele, senior vice president of marketing for global fragrances at Elizabeth Arden, noting that the scent’s intended consumer is an African-American or multiethnic consumer between the ages of 18 and 34, both urban and suburban. “This is an area that we don’t really have covered in our current portfolio, and we feel it offers us a great opportunity for growth.”

The scent, concocted by International Flavors & Fragrances, has top notes of Asian coriander, mandarin zest and living cantaloupe; a heart of spike lavender, raw geranium leaf and suede, and a drydown of golden amber, musk and timberwood.

Four stockkeeping units will be sold: eaux de toilette in two sizes, 1.7 oz. for $50 and 3.4 oz. for $65, as well as a 6.8-oz. shower gel for $25 and a 2.6-oz. deodorant for $16.

The scent will be available in about 2,000 U.S. department and specialty store doors, including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Belk’s and Bon-Ton/Carson’s. In addition to traditional department store doors, Arden plans to distribute the scent in specialty stores that also carry Rocawear, said Steele. “We’re still finalizing these partnerships, but we want to make sure that this scent is available in the places consumers want to buy it,” she said.

The fragrance is expected to roll out to travel retail and Australia later this fall, followed by a spring launch in the U.K.

Arden will take a “multilayered” approach to advertising, said Steele. Scented ads in October men’s books, including Maxim, Men’s Fitness, Vibe, Giant, Uptown, Complex and Blender, are planned; an Internet campaign is planned, including a partnership with the Rocawear apparel Web site. Arden is aiming for at least 35 million scented impressions in the marketplace this fall.

TV is planned for the holidays, including spots on MTV, BET, ESPN and Comedy Central, added Rolleston. “We’ll augment that with viral and interactive marketing,” he said.

While Rolleston and Steele declined to comment on sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the scent would do upward of $20 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter, and that about $7 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.

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