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Jimmy Choo’s New Fit: Fragrance

Tamara Mellon unveils the brand's eponymous first scent.

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Tamara Mellon has unveiled the latest iteration of the Jimmy Choo brand — fragrance. Beginning in January, the brand’s eponymous first scent, created with Inter Parfums SA, will be introduced.

“We’ve transitioned into a lifestyle luxury brand, and it seemed like the next natural step for us,” said Mellon, founder and chief creative officer of Jimmy Choo, at a London event to launch the fragrance last week. A similar event was held in New York on Tuesday. “Fragrance is such an important accessory for women — I think it will have a very broad reach. Our customer is every woman.”

Joshua Schulman, chief executive officer at Jimmy Choo, added: “The dream of the brand that Tamara has created is much bigger than our business today, and fragrance is one way to allow more people to be a part of the Jimmy Choo experience.”

Schulman said at the New York event that the brand would continue to expand into new categories, possibly including ready-to-wear — Choo partnered with H&M last November on a limited edition line to test the waters. “Apparel is definitely a dream of Tamara’s, and she dreams big,” said Schulman.

The fragrance, composed by Olivier Polge of International Flavors & Fragrances, is a modern, fruity chypre with green top notes, along with notes of exotic tiger orchid, sweet toffee and Indonesian patchouli. Mellon said she had her own tastes in mind when she worked together with Polge on the fragrance. “You have to — fragrance is something that’s very…personal,” said Mellon, noting at the New York event that her past favorites include Opium and Anaïs Anaïs. “I love very fresh green smells that are effervescent, and then I like things that are sensual, so that’s how we came in with the patchouli.” She is currently developing a second Choo fragrance, although she declined to comment on additional details.

In fact, there are plans for at least two more Jimmy Choo fragrances to launch over the next three years, noted Philippe Benacin, chairman and ceo of Inter Parfums SA. “This one is quite poetic and romantic, the next one could be more dynamic.” Jimmy Choo had initially signed a fragrance license with Selective Beauty in 2007, but signed a new, 12-year global fragrance licensing agreement with Inter Parfums SA in late 2009.

Mellon was also involved in the design of the fragrance’s heavy and textured orb-shaped bottle, which was inspired by Murano glass. “We wanted to create something that was an object of desire, that you would be proud to have on show,” said Mellon, adding the material is a Jimmy Choo signature — some of the first stores had Murano glass chandeliers, and she’s used the material in shoe design.

In addition, Mellon’s image features in the print advertising for the fragrance, which was shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. “We wanted something that reflected what was in the bottle, something empowering but also sensual and soft,” said Mellon. Single- and double-page advertisements will begin running in February fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines in the U.S., said Benacin.

Jimmy Choo will launch in the U.S. as 3.3-oz. and 2-oz. eau de parfum sprays, which will retail for $95 and $70, respectively. A smaller, 40-ml. eau de parfum spray will also launch in Europe. There will also be a perfumed body lotion and a perfumed shower gel, which will retail at $44 and $36, respectively. An eau de toilette will also be introduced in markets such as Japan, the Middle East and Russia in April, and will go into stores worldwide at a later date.

In the U.S., the fragrance will be launched at Saks Fifth Avenue in January and will remain exclusive to the retailer until June. Deborah Walters, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of beauty and intimates for Saks Fifth Avenue, noted that the scent “captures the sophistication and allure of the Jimmy Choo brand perfectly and we expect our customers to fully embrace the scent, making it the must-have fragrance of the season.”

U.S. specialty stores will follow Saks, noted Benacin. “Existing partners of the brand in the U.S., including Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, will get the fragrance next, and in September we expect to add some department store distribution.” Benacin noted that U.S. distribution at full rollout would involve between 600 and 800 doors.

In Europe, the scent will launch on Jan. 13 at Harrods and Selfridges in the U.K. before going into stores across the U.K. from Jan. 31. Sephora will carry the fragrance exclusively in countries including France, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal and Turkey. The fragrance will also be sold at all Jimmy Choo freestanding stores beginning in January. By yearend, the company will operate 120 of its own doors, with new stores in Frankfurt, Zurich and São Paulo among those slated to open imminently.

While Benacin declined to disclose sales estimates, industry sources expect Jimmy Choo to achieve sales of more than $35 million at retail globally in its first year on counter.

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