After more than three years of working to restore the luster of the Oscar de la Renta fragrance business, the design house has signed a multiyear global licensing pact, as well as the sale of certain assets, in a deal with Inter Parfums USA LLC, a subsidiary of Inter Parfums Inc.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by Dec. 2, when Inter Parfums will take over production and distribution of de la Renta’s fragrances. The agreement covers cosmetics as well as scent.
Spearheaded by Alex Bolen, Oscar de la Renta’s chief executive officer, the fashion company wrested control of its beauty license from L’Oréal through court arbitration at the end of 2009. The design house contended that the fragrance business had been allowed to deteriorate to the point where it was casting a pall over de la Renta’s other businesses. With de la Renta himself involved in guiding the project, the group launched a restoration campaign by cleaning up the business and then introducing new scents, such as the Esprit d’Oscar eau de parfum; a new women’s brand, Live in Love; the Essential Luxuries limited-edition scents, and Something Blue, which has a wedding orientation. These initiatives were launched in the shadow of the landmark 1977 Oscar fragrance, which is still operating.
While none of the parties would discuss terms of the deal, industry sources calculate that the house has tripled the size of the fragrance business since the 2009 takeover. The business, calculated in retail sales dollars, is approaching $100 million, according to industry sources.
In an interview, Bolen said the Oscar fragrance business had been in a sorry state when the house reclaimed ownership. “We had been thrown out of Saks, we had been thrown out of Neiman’s and we had mostly been thrown out of Macy’s,’’ Bolen said. “The business was limping along.” He added that those relationships have been repaired and the company is ready “to really expand sales aggressively. We can achieve our goals a lot more quickly by partnering with Inter Parfums. They can put gas in our machine.”
Bolen mentioned that Michele de Bourbon, senior vice president of fragrance sales and marketing, will interface with Inter Parfums after it takes over de la Renta’s existing fragrance business. The designer himself will also be involved.
Reached in Saint-Tropez where he was preparing his executive management team of 30 for the annual duty-free conference in nearby Cannes, France, Jean Madar, chairman and ceo of Inter Parfums Inc., described the acquisition of the Oscar franchise as “a fantastic opportunity.” He said it was a potent combination of “a legendary name with and iconic fragrance.” The original Oscar fragrance was not the first American designer fragrance but it was first to gain dominant stature. Madar said he was excited about de la Renta’s high recognition in North and South America, combined with Inter Parfums’ penetration into Asia, where it does 23 percent of its sales. Madar pointed to his company’s track record in building up other venerable designer names, such as Lanvin. Inter Parfums acquired that brand seven years ago and its fragrance sales now total nearly $100 million. “We want to leverage all of our possibilities to help Oscar reach the next level,” Madar said.
He added that there are plans to launch a new de la Renta women’s fragrance next year. Inter Parfums also plans to take over de la Renta’s recently announced amenities line with the Peninsula Hotel chain as part of a new in-house division.
Inter Parfums has been on an acquisition march since Burberry bought back its fragrance license, which had been the biggest piston in the Inter Parfums portfolio. Madar pointed out that in the last eight months, Inter Parfums has not only acquired licenses for Agent Provocateur but also Shanghai Tang and Dunhill. He mentioned that Anna Sui, Montblanc and Lanvin are all growing at more than 20 percent a year, and predicted that within three years, Inter Parfums will easily make up for the loss of the Burberry business. “We are very comfortable,” he stated.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)