Kate Spade New York is taking another spin on the fragrance floor with a new women’s fragrance slated for a September launch.
With Kate Spade Twirl, the intention is to “distill the look and feel of the Kate Spade brand, the joie de vivre our target consumer embodies,” said Deborah Lloyd, creative director and co-president of Kate Spade New York. “It’s the perfect cocktail, so to speak — equally at ease at an afternoon lawn party or a night on the town. We own color, and the only thing our girl is afraid of is being bored. That comes across in this project.”
The move into fragrance is part of the brand’s strong emphasis on becoming a true lifestyle brand, said Craig Leavitt, chief operating officer and co-president of Kate Spade New York. “The consumer has viewed us as a lifestyle brand, even though we were mostly purses and small leathergoods,” he said. Founded in 1993 as a handbag company, the Kate Spade empire has since grown to include clothing, accessories, jewelry, shoes, eyewear, legwear, home and stationery, in addition to the planned fragrance. Leavitt hinted that additional categories will be announced in the next month or so.
“We have been working quite diligently to expand the brand’s reach, while taking great care of the DNA of the brand,” continued Leavitt, adding international business is growing fast. In December, Kate Spade signed a joint venture with its Japanese distribution partner to create Kate Spade Japan, and operates 36 points of sale throughout Japan. Seven additional locations are expected this year. As well, additional doors in China, where there are currently three points of sale, and South Korea, where there are six, are planned. The brand will also open a store in São Paulo, Brazil, in the third quarter of this year, said Leavitt. Australia and expanded Canadian reach are on tap for 2011. “We stayed true to our DNA during the recession,” he said. “We are reaping the benefits of that now.” As reported in late February, Liz Claiborne Inc.’s U.S. direct business division, which includes the Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and Lucky brands, was the only division to inch into the black in the fourth quarter of this year, posting an operating profit of $12.2 million.
Kate Spade, acquired by Liz Claiborne in 2007, has signed a long-term global licensing agreement with Elizabeth Arden Inc., which has held the global licensing rights to Liz Claiborne Inc.’s fragrance brand portfolio since May 2008. That portfolio also includes the Juicy Couture, Usher, Lucky Brand and Claiborne scent franchises.
This is actually the brand’s second step into fragrance. The first Kate Spade fragrance was produced by the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. in May 2002, as the fruit of a deal signed in fall 1999. Lauder relinquished the license in 2004.
“The brand had an amazing equity back then, but the business was quite small,” said Leavitt of the first Spade fragrance business. “We have expanded strongly over the 18 months, and believe we’re in a strong position to make this fragrance a very successful venture.”
While none of the executives would discuss sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Twirl would do about $16 million to $18 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter.
Concocted by Givaudan’s Claude Dir, Twirl opens with pink watermelon, blackberry and red currant; moves into a heart of orange blossom, star jasmine, tiare flower and sweet magnolia, and dries down to luminous musk and French macaroon. “This scent captures the energy, excitement and playfulness of the Kate Spade brand, and brings a successful American designer to our portfolio,” said Art Spiro, executive vice president, Global Fragrance Marketing for Elizabeth Arden.
The collection will launch with eaux de parfum in two sizes, a 1.7 oz. for $65 and a 3.4 oz. for $80, as well as a 0.25 oz. roller ball for $18. The eau de parfum bottle is round with gold dots — “It’s like a disco ball in your hand,” said Lloyd. “And our girl is bubbly, so the juice is the color of Champagne.”
The Kate Spade wit extends to the outer packaging; each box contains a playful message which is visible after the box has been opened. “It’s another hidden wink,” said Lloyd.
Ancillaries include a body cream, $45 for 5 oz.; a body lotion, $40 for 6.7 oz., and a shower gel, $35 for 6.7 oz.
Distribution, still being finalized, is expected to include about 1,800 department and specialty store doors in the U.S at full rollout. The international launch of the scent will take place between late fall and spring 2011.
National advertising will be shot within the next few weeks, featuring a model with a custom-designed Kate Spade dress and the scent. “Depending upon response, we may roll the dress into our own retail stores,” said Lloyd, noting that there will be synergies displayed between all Kate Spade-branded advertising to create a cohesive message. Ads will break in October fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. Scented strips and vials on card are also planned, as is a social media campaign, said Marcy Fisher, vice president, Liz Claiborne Global Marketing at Elizabeth Arden.
“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.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast