By  on July 11, 2008

Tommy Hilfiger is turning the sophistication up a notch with the September introduction of a new signature men’s scent, called Hilfiger.

The eau de toilette, which is set to be launched exclusively at Macy’s, follows the February introduction of Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger, a feminine scent that was also positioned as more upscale than the designer’s previous fragrances.

“This runs hand-in-hand with elevating the brand,” Hilfiger said of the new men’s scent in an interview. “The sophistication level is higher, it’s more grown-up, more polished.”

The designer added that because his upscale fashions in European specialty stores have been the strength of his collection, the U.S. fashion business was cleaned up, retrenched and repositioned — and fragrance, along with a retail store opening strategy, has since followed suit.

“It’s time to offer a new product for a slightly older customer and allow him to wear something day into evening — and launch it at a time when the brand is on the rise in terms of quality and renewed positioning,” said Hilfiger.

Executives at his fragrance licensee, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., contend that Dreaming has helped rebuild brand equity and that the aim is to continue the momentum with the new Hilfiger scent. The executives refused to break out sales projections or budgets, but, clearly, a lot is riding on this launch. Industry sources estimate Hilfiger could generate first-year retail sales of $50 million worldwide, of which $10 million to $12 million could be generated in the U.S.

“This is to capture older men in the fashion market and reestablish [the brand] in the men’s world,” Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, president of Lauder’s Aramis and Designer Fragrances division, said of the new men’s scent, which targets guys 25 to 40 years old.

“[Hilfiger] is more upgraded in age and psychographics,” than the designer’s original scent, a men’s fragrance called Tommy, said Gabai-Pinsky, who added that the 1995 entry targeted guys 18 to 30 years old. “With [Hilfiger], we hope to have another strong pillar of the house.”

The target consumer for the Hilfiger scent, “is the guy who can afford the toys,” said Gabai-Pinsky, like expensive watches, cars, sunglasses and bikes.

In fact, a bike, specifically a Harley-Davidson, features prominently in a national print ad campaign for the fragrance, which was shot by photographer Greg Williams and features model Tommy Dunn. It is meant to depict a guy who has just left the office, hopped on his motorcycle and rode off through the desert — still wearing his suit.

“They keep a taste for adventure and the outdoors,” Gabai-Pinsky said of the target audience, adding, “This is the closest we’ve gotten to the fashion image in [the fragrance] vision.”

As part of an advertising and promotional campaign estimated by sources to be worth between $7.5 million and $9 million in the U.S., national print ads for Hilfiger are scheduled for the October issues of GQ, Details, Men’s Health and Interview magazines. Also supporting the scent will be some 30 million scented impressions, in the form of scented strips, blow-ins and samples.

Additionally, TV and outdoor advertising is planned for the scent, depending on the market. For instance, a digital billboard is slated for New York’s Times Square. Also, there will be a “push in digital communication,” said Gabai-Pinsky, who cited planned Internet and social media efforts.

The Hilfiger scent will come in a heavy glass bottle with a square base and rounded shoulders. A brushed metal plate, which reads, “Hilfiger Est. 1985,” will be affixed to the front of the bottle.

Launch plans call for the Hilfiger scent to be carried exclusively at 750 Macy’s stores for three months beginning in September. Then, in October, Hilfiger is to be rolled out to 40 international markets. Distribution of the scent is then to be expanded in the U.S. in December, to 1,200 doors, including Bon-Ton and Gottschalks.

Hilfiger will be available in 1.7-oz. and 3.4-oz. versions in the U.S., for $47 and $59, respectively, which is more expensive than the original Tommy scent. A 3.4-oz. aftershave balm ($47) will accompany the Hilfiger fragrance at launch. Internationally, a 1-oz. version of the scent, plus a body wash and deodorant spray, will be introduced.

Hilfiger, which is described as a dynamic fougere, was blended by Givaudan. The scent mixes top notes of bergamot, mandarin, pink grapefruit, juniper, rosemary and papaya; a heart of curcuma, mahogany wood, white tea rose and warm skin accord, and a drydown of suede, sandalwood, cistus, papaya, tonka and cashmere wood.

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