Bieber’s first fragrance, Someday, was launched in spring 2011 and became the number-one women’s fragrance launch in U.S. department stores, with annual sales of $39 million according to NPD Group figures cited by Give Back Brands. A second fragrance, Girlfriend, will be launched in Macy’s on Monday and in other national retailers on June 25, Kathy Widmer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Elizabeth Arden, told WWD Tuesday afternoon.
Minaj’s first fragrance is set for a September launch. These moves will meet head on with Coty as it prepares to launch its first Lady Gaga fragrance in the fall, following the debut of Madonna’s blockbuster Truth or Dare scent in late March. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
In a memo to employees dated Tuesday, E. Scott Beattie, chairman and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden, said: “We are pleased to announce that today we signed an agreement to acquire the licenses for the Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj fragrance brands from Give Back Brands.…The marketing and creative activities for these fragrance brands will continue to be managed externally by their existing team. Sales, finance and operational activities will be absorbed by the respective Elizabeth Arden functions. These brands represent another opportunity to grow our extensive fragrance portfolio through both new licenses and fragrance acquisitions.”
“We’ve been keen observers of Justin Bieber’s fragrance and his participation in it,” said Widmer. “When you look at the combination of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck, together they accounted for half of the U.S. growth in fragrance last season. Our growth agenda allowed for a certain amount of acquisitions and when this became available we recognized it was a great opportunity. It made sense to us given the size and breadth of our celebrity portfolio.” Arden is building a celebrity portfolio which rivals Coty’s: in addition to Bieber and Minaj, Arden now holds the fragrance licenses of Elizabeth Taylor, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and Usher, as well as Swift.
Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group Inc., pointed out that when the Bieber and Minaj franchises are added to the Swift business, the resultant lineup will allow Arden’s marketing effort to resonate with the young, diverse consumers that are now driving the celebrity fragrance category.
Give Back Brands was founded by Paul West and Robert Hollander as a vehicle to raise money for charity. Hollander, the president, said Wednesday that Arden will continue to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Give Back Brands Foundation, which will be run by West. Noreen Dodge, who has been Give Back Brands’ executive vice president of global marketing, will continue to spearhead marketing of the Bieber and Minaj brands with her own independent organization, including a half-dozen staff members, Hollander said. West is a former chief operating officer at Arden, and Dodge is a former senior vice president of fragrance and global brand development for Elizabeth Arden.
Give Back Brands grew so quickly, fueled by the supernova stardom of Bieber, that the fledgling organization was challenged to keep up. “We didn’t have the infrastructure to take the business to the next level at such a speed,” Hollander said.
One analyst, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Bill Chappell, had speculated that Give Back Brands would choose to give a percentage of the purchase price to Bieber and Minaj, and that going forward Arden would simply pay the two celebrities royalties. “Give Back incubated the [concept] and it proved to be successful,” catching Arden’s eye, he said. Chappell added that, prior to the acquisition, Give Back had tapped Arden to distribute Bieber’s Someday scent to the mass market this fall.
Beattie is also in the process of overhauling the company’s flagship brand. In May, he told WWD that his ambitions for the 101-year-old brand, which currently generates about $850 million in retail sales a year, included doubling its size. “We doubled the brand size in a little over 10 years and we want to double it again in five,” said Beattie. “We also want to be in the top 10 in every market we’re in.” Beginning in September, a flagship system will be instituted globally to maximize business, said Beattie, noting that 50 flagship doors globally are planned. As well, the Arden-branded portfolio is being trimmed from 488 stockkeeping units to 355, focusing on key pillars. Rebecca Restrepo has been signed as the Arden brand’s global makeup artist, a new post.
RBC Capital analyst Jason Gere said, “Arden is looking to round out its portfolio: Ed Hardy and BCBG could have a big presence in Europe, and Bieber and Minaj come on top of [Arden’s fragrance license] Taylor Swift. Arden is trying to bring out newness and innovation.” The move also diversifies the portfolio, said Gere, which includes a number of brands tailored for the mass fragrance market, which has been soft, and the Elizabeth Arden flagship brand, which is undergoing a bold revamp. Referring to Arden’s recent spate of fragrance license acquisitions, Gere said, “This is Arden’s bread and butter.”
One major department store retailer, speaking not for attribution, confirmed that Arden is already a major player in the celebrity fragrance field and this move will only bolster its market competitiveness. “They are doing a good job,” the retailer said, “and this will just make them stronger.” In addition, Arden’s well-developed infrastructure and highly organized back-office operation seems certain to make the acquired business run more efficiently.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)