Badgley Mischka Couture

Mark Badgley and James Mischka are playing off their red-carpet heritage with Badgley Mischka Couture, a new fragrance that they will introduce in February.

This story first appeared in the October 17, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“We will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our company this spring — and looking through our history, we were inspired by all of the women we’ve had the opportunity to dress,” said Mischka, naming Teri Hatcher, Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Longoria Parker and Sarah Jessica Parker as inspirations. “With this scent, we want every woman to have that feeling of putting on a glamorous event dress and heading down the red carpet.” Or, as Badgley puts it, “One zip — or in this case, one spritz — and you’re glamorous!”

The floriental woody juice, concocted by the designing duo with Givaudan’s Caroline Sabas, has top notes of purple plum, blackberry and pear nectar; a heart of jasmine, gardenia and violet, and a drydown of white patchouli, black vetiver and sensual musk. “The violet is inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes, and the gardenia from the flowers Sharon Stone sends us,” noted Badgley.

The collection will include eaux de parfum in three sizes, 1 oz. for $45, 1.7 oz. for $65 and 3.4 oz. for $90. A 0.5 oz. parfum elixir, $48; a 6.7 oz. body cream, $70, and a 6.8 oz. body moisturizer, $42, will also be offered, said Noreen Dodge, senior vice president of global brand development for Elizabeth Arden, the design team’s fragrance licensee.

The fragrance’s bottle borrows its shape from the duo’s signature scent, although Couture wraps the crystal in metallic gold panels with the juice peeking out at the bottle’s corners. “That corner detail is intended to represent a slice of shoulder peeking out of a great dress,” said Badgley. The outer carton is a pearlized espresso hue with gold accents.

The collection will be sold in a tightly edited lineup of about 200 specialty store doors, including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, at launch, said Dodge.

National advertising is slated to begin running in March fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, including In Style, Vogue and Vanity Fair. About eight million scented strips will be distributed through these ads, said Dodge.

While none of the executives would discuss sales figures or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Couture would do at least $5 million at retail in its first year on counter, and estimated that $3 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.

In addition to their new scent, the designers will launch a home collection this spring, are aiming for an April opening for their in-progress Madison Avenue flagship and are eyeing additional cities for freestanding stores.