PARIS — Beauté Prestige International continues hunting for new fragrance licenses.
“We are still looking,” confirmed Bertrand Tupin, chief strategic officer at BPI, Shiseido’s fragrance branch whose other licenses include Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez, Elie Saab and Jean Paul Gaultier. “The priority is licenses; we know how to handle those. Since the very beginning, we knew how to create brands from scratch and to make them successful in the markets. It’s our DNA.”
BPI executives did not divulge possible targets. However, they did hint at the sort of activities they’re after.
“We are not looking at niche brands,” continued Tupin. “We are really looking at [labels] which should become like pillars and iconic brands on the market. We have a global goal —it’s to keep expanding.”
In January, as reported, BPI said it had signed a 13-year fragrance and cosmetics license with Azzedine Alaïa. It was widely anticipated that BPI would ink a deal with at least one new label, since its Gaultier fragrance license comes to an end in mid-2016 now that Puig has acquired the Gaultier fashion brand.
Meanwhile, BPI keeps expanding its distribution activity. As reported, on April 1 it became the exclusive distributor of Burberry fragrances and cosmetics in the U.S., France and Spain, as well as for most European and some Asia-Pacific travel-retail markets.
BPI began its burgeoning distribution business in 2009. Also in the United States, the firm handles Hermès, Annick Goutal and Salvatore Ferragamo scents, for instance. The addition of Burberry helps give BPI the critical mass it needs in that country, according to Eric Henry, BPI’s chief operating officer.
“Retail is detail, and I think that today we can really service the customers and give [them] the right shopping experience,” he explained.
The U.S. is expected to be a key driver of BPI’s overall growth moving forward.
“We can improve our market share for licensed brands in the United States, and we can further develop the business globally with the distribution brands [there],” said Henry.
BPI executives would not discuss figures, but industry sources estimate the U.S. generates about 15 percent of the company’s overall revenues.
“We would like to grow the global business, and we would like the share of the U.S. to be bigger at the same time,” Henry continued.
“All of our brands have very big potential ahead of them to grow in the U.S.,” said Patrice Béliard, president of BPI USA, who added that the Narciso Rodriguez for Her fragrance has “huge potential” and is being pushed in a “very big way.” That includes a scented media campaign.
Narciso Rodriguez fragrances are currently sold in less than 800 doors nationwide.
“There is no reason why For Her shouldn’t be among the top 20 or even among the top 15 feminine brands in the United States,” said Henry.
Another priority for BPI is the Issey Miyake brand.
“The number-one priority [there] is to grow the business of the master franchise, Les Eaux — L’Eau d’Issey and L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme,” said Henry. “We grew last year very strongly with L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme thanks to the new olfactive version with Sport, which has been very successful. It’s still very successful this year, and we want to further grow the business by also investing a lot in certain media in the States.
“The Les Eaux franchise on a worldwide basis could become as big as something like $200 million,” said an industry source.
Markets outside of Europe and the U.S. — which industry sources estimate ring up less than 20 percent of BPI’s sales — are also among prime focal points for the company.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
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