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THERE’S FABULOUS — AND THEN THERE’S FABULOSITY.
This story first appeared in the February 1, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The latter is a word coined by the typically over-the-top Kimora Lee Simmons, who plans to show her fall ready-to-wear collection tonight at Roseland Ballroom. It’s also the name of her newest fragrance, Baby Phat Fabulosity.
“Yes, I’m over the top, and yes, I’m unapologetic, and yes, I have really big diamonds, but I have an equally big heart and an equally big spirit,” she declared while launching her first fragrance, Goddess. These days, she also has an equally big to-do list: Simmons was named creative director of the Kellwood-owned Phat Farm Fashions empire in August, and oversees product development, marketing and advertising for the various brands. The portfolio includes 30 domestic and eight international licensees stretching over 38 product categories — including fragrances with Coty. That’s not to mention the imminent launch of a Kimora Barbie doll swathed in floor-length fake fur and pink thigh-high boots.
“Kimora has a real lust for life,” said Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing for Coty Beauty. “She’s very open about saying that being rich and glamorous is good. Goddess [launched in 2005, with a flanker in 2006], was a risk — it is kitschy and over the top — but it succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. Expanding the portfolio made perfect sense — it’s a great fashion brand fueled by a charismatic celebrity.”
Fabulosity, a fruity floral oriental developed with Givaudan, has top notes of juicy plum, orange blossom, tiger lily and “mysterious forbidden fruit”; a heart of damask plum skin, Chinese osmanthus, coconut milk and purple violet, and a drydown of Tasmanian honey, vanilla absolute, patchouli and amber.
The scent collection includes eaux de parfum in two sizes: 1.7 oz. for $45 and 3.4 oz. for $55; a Body Soufflé, $30 for 4 oz., and bath salts — appropriately dubbed Bath Diamonds — that will sell for $30 for 4 oz.
Fabulosity’s bottle resembles a brilliant round-cut diamond and is intended to lay on its side to show off the facets (which would work out to about 3,000 carats, if the bottle wasn’t made of glass). Outer packaging is dark purple with embossed diamond accents.
The Fabulosity collection will be available in April in about 2,000 U.S. department store doors.
While Coty executives declined to comment on sales figures, industry sources estimated that the Fabulosity collection could do $40 million at retail in its first year on counter. Industry sources estimated that about $2 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.
Ads, shot by Peter Lindbergh, feature Simmons in a slinky purple dress, sitting on a huge crystal cut to resemble a diamond. They will drop in April weekly fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines and in May monthly magazines, noted Lorrie King, senior marketing director for Coty Prestige. Coty will also work with Simmons on her reality show, “Life in the Fab Lane,” to feature the fragrance, and will purchase MySpace advertising.
And it’s unlikely that Coty is done making scents with Simmons. “Right now, we are succeeding with fragrances and fragrance ancillaries,” said Mormoris. “But we’re definitely looking at new categories — perhaps children’s —as a way of extending the hip-hop sensibility.”