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Laura Slatkin is tapping into the power of Sephora.
This story first appeared in the August 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Beginning next week, an assortment of Slatkin’s beauty and home brand, Nest Fragrances, will appear online at sephora.com. An exclusive version of Nest’s botanical-inspired Fine Fragrances collection, which launched at Neiman Marcus stores and Bergdorf Goodman last September, will then roll out to 160 U.S. Sephora doors beginning Sept. 30.
“We have a very diverse, sophisticated [fragrance assortment],” said Sephora’s head merchant, Margarita Arriagada, adding that the retailer houses about 150 collections and 70 brands. “For us, we look at the point of differentiation, and in this particular case we saw a beautiful, romantic fine fragrance and [realized] there was nothing else in the assortment like it.” For the Sephora partnership, Nest’s Fine Fragrances range, inspired by the intricate “paper mosaic” artwork of 18th-century British artist Mary Delany, will include two new Sephora-exclusive scents, smaller-size bottles and updated packaging.
“We decided to make it a little different for Sephora,” said Slatkin, Nest’s founder and chief executive officer, adding that the 50-ml. bottle size, down from 100 ml., is more appropriate for Sephora customers, and that the line’s roller balls were made thinner to fit in Sephora’s roller ball bar. “We also made it a clear bottle, which is very visually appealing on the shelf. There is a younger cheerfulness to the assortment that was an important move to make with the collection.” The Nest Fine Fragrances collection for Sephora, made up of 12 stockkeeping units, includes five eaux de toilette, five fragrance roller balls, an eau de parfum set of all five scents in mini bottles and a set of five hand creams. The range, priced from $25 for a roller ball to $65 for an edp, is comprised of existing scents, Amazon Lily, Midnight Fleur and Passiflora, as well as the two new fragrances, Dahlia & Vines, a blend of peony, rose, daffodils, garden vines and vanilla, and White Sandalwood, a mix of White Indian and Australian sandalwood, almond, white musk and spices. The collection, which Slatkin wants to expand in 2014, will be housed in Sephora’s niche fragrance section.
Although neither Sephora nor Nest would comment on financials, industry sources believe the addition of Sephora distribution could generate $4 million in the first year at retail.
For Slatkin, entering Sephora is another step in her goal to continue building the Nest brand into a global, multicategory beauty player.
“We have a few dots around [the world] in prestigious locations, but this gives us a real retail platform to expand internationally,” said Slatkin. “It gives us the ability to go to Canada, France, Brazil and a lot of international markets.”
An additional 33 Nest items, including seven classic candles, three reed diffusers, scented body care and liquid soap, will be sold on sephora.com beginning Tuesday.
“If at all possible, we try to launch a brand online as a platform to create awareness. This allows us a little time to begin to build as we figure out the store execution,” said Arriagada, who said plans call for the retailer’s newly acquired Scentsa platform to help Sephora customers find their ideal scent in-store.
Additionally, Slatkin will be featured on a video in which she shares her personal connections to the line. It will be utilized in-store and across sephora.com, Sephora’s YouTube channel, and Sephora’s beauty blog, The Gloss. “A lot of the inspiration for my fragrances come from my personal life and personal reflection,” said Slatkin.