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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews