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Desigual Ramps Up Beauty

The Barcelona-based retailer and wholesaler is importing its new fragrances into the U.S. with plans for an eventual full-out assault on the beauty category.

Desigual's Sex, Fun and Love scents.

Desigual, the fast-growing Barcelona-based retailer and wholesaler, is importing its new fragrances into the U.S. with plans for an eventual full-out assault on the beauty category.

This story first appeared in the January 3, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Packaged in the wildly colorful motif associated with Desigual, three scents — Sex, Fun and Love — will make their debut in the U.S. early in 2014. The expansion into the 15 American doors follows what Manel Jadraque, chief executive officer of Desigual, called a “very successful” launch in November in Spain.

Jadraque added fragrance is the “first step” into a full-color presence, especially nail lacquers, to complement the bold hues and patterns featured in the apparel and home collection to build multiple sales transactions.

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“Today we know having a perfume makes the brand more complete,” said Jadraque. “We know [fragrance] is highly competitive and only 10 percent succeed, but we think we are doing something brand new and breaking rules. Our brand is an attitude.”

To ensure Desigual has the right juice, each fragrance was created with a proven resource — Sex by Daphne Bugey, known for Kenzo and Issey Miyake; Fun by Christophe Raynaud, who was behind Guerlain and Paco Rabanne, and Love by Fabrice Pellegrin, a well-known collaborator on hits such as Diesel and Jo Malone.

Each bottle is designed with a collage of colors in a “galactic ball” shape. The three fragrances are available in 1-oz., 1.7-oz. and 3.4-oz. versions. All retail for less than $80.

The total Desigual brand is on track to generate $1 billion in global sales in 2013. Its products span women’s, men’s, children’s, accessories, footwear and home, and are carried in 347 Desigual stores worldwide and in 11,000 wholesale doors. In the U.S., the brand is also featured in department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor.

Desigual entered the U.S. in 2009, and that business, which became profitable in 2012, is expected to produce upwards of $60 million in sales when tallied for 2013. The U.S. volume is equally split between its retail and wholesale operation. The company’s goal is to accelerate U.S. growth, especially with freestanding stores. Five more units are on the docket to open in American by 2015.