MILAN — Just 18 months after relaunching the Fendi fragrance business, LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton announced Friday it will pull the brand’s sole scent off the market.
The company will stop selling its Fendi Palazzo women’s fragrance, which it introduced in 2007, due to sales that “while encouraging, didn’t meet expectations” in 2008, stated Gabriella Scarpa, country general manager for LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics in Italy. At the time of its introduction, industry sources estimated Palazzo would ring up $50 million in global retail revenues during its first year on counter.
An LVMH spokesman in Italy declined further comment, but market sources believe that despite the setback, Fendi will forge ahead with a fragrance business at a later date.
Palazzo was Fendi’s first major fragrance launch in collaboration with the company’s distribution partner, Christian Dior Perfumes and Cosmetics. Unveiled at a major press event in Rome in summer 2007, Palazzo was Fendi’s first scent to be introduced since the mid-Eighties. Its rectangular bottle with a graphic black sketch of a building was meant to resemble Fendi’s headquarters. Karl Lagerfeld shot images for Palazzo’s ad and also for a storybook, called “Palazzo,” to accompany the scent’s launch.
The Palazzo fragrance was distributed in 1,500 doors in the U.S., Canada and Europe beginning in September 2007 and then went to Asia in 2008.
At the time of the launch, Michael Burke, chief executive officer of Fendi, said the scent’s distribution network would progressively grow along with Fendi’s fragrance portfolio, which was to include a men’s scent in 2008 and another women’s fragrance in 2009. All previous Fendi fragrances had been removed from the market after the end of the brand’s beauty license with Gucci Group’s YSL Beauté division in 2005.
Also at the time of launch, Burke estimated Fendi’s beauty business would account for 10 percent of the company’s total sales in five years, and that a beauty line could diversify into other categories, such as a spa line.
None of this took place. Instead, there’s been a gradual line extension added. In the second half of last year, an eau de toilette was introduced, for instance.
“Perhaps their expectations were too big,” said Antonella Mandelli, general manager of Mazzolari, one of Milan’s leading perfumeries. “It’s a very strong signal they are sending out, as they realized it wasn’t performing how they wanted it to. Other companies should have the courage to do the same thing.”
The Fendi fragrance business was not discussed during LVMH’s financial analyst meeting Thursday, when the Perfume and Cosmetics division was lauded. It posted sales of 2.87 billion euros, or $4.22 billion at average exchange for the period, in 2008, up 5 percent on-year. Its organic growth was 8 percent and current operating margin came in at 10 percent for the first time. The division logged gains in all markets in local currencies: 20 percent in Asia, 10 percent in the U.S. and 3 percent in both Europe and Japan.
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion