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Article October 7, 1994

<CR><RD><BR><CS:BOLD>VERSACE'S NEW U.S. DISTRIBUTOR REVS UP FOR LAUNCH<BR><BR>Byline: </CS>Cara Kagan<BR><BR>NEW YORK -- Gianni Versace has found a new U.S. distributor for its scents in Fragrance Marketing Group Inc. of Miami. And the firm is...


VERSACE’S NEW U.S. DISTRIBUTOR REVS UP FOR LAUNCH

Byline: Cara Kagan

NEW YORK — Gianni Versace has found a new U.S. distributor for its scents in Fragrance Marketing Group Inc. of Miami. And the firm is wasting no time in launching a new Versace scent.
FMG’s first project will be the U.S. launch of Versace Red Jeans for Women and Versace Blue Jeans for Men, which are due out next month.
On Tuesday, Versace’s fragrance company, Giver Profumi SpA, announced a long-term agreement with FMG that included the marketing and distribution of the Versace fragrance brands in the U.S. and the local and duty-free markets of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Mexico.
The deal embraces the development of new Versace brands as well as the designer’s existing scents: Gianni Versace, Versace L’Homme, V’E Versace, Versus Donna and Versus Uomo.
FMG’s other brands include Ombre Rose, Niki de St. Phalle, the two Julio Iglesias scents, Balenciaga and Chevignon.
Giver Profumi also canceled its previous American distribution contract with Vepro Ltd. of New York. To market and distribute the Versace brands, FMG has established the Gianni Versace Profumi division. According to David Alfin, chief operating officer of FMG, the two Jeans scents will be launched with just one stockkeeping unit each: a 2.5-oz. eau de toilette spray priced at $29.50.
Alfin plans to roll the brands out to roughly 1,000 doors, in time for Christmas.
While the accounts have not yet been finalized, Alfin noted that distribution would include department stores and Versace boutiques. Distribution is projected at 5,000 doors by the end of 1995.
“The fragrances are very fashion-forward, youthful and spirited,” Alfin said. “We feel that since there are only two stockkeeping units that even retailers who haven’t planned for it can easily take it. Alfin noted that the fragrances will be displayed in units on table tops in cosmetics departments.
To support the launch, FMG will spend about $1 million in print advertising and at least an additional $1 million on TV and Radio during November and December, Alfin said.
Alfin is projecting retail volume for the Jeans scents at $30 million to $40 million by the end of 1995.
“We see these brands as the driving force behind the Versace fragrances,” he said.
Red Jeans consists of floral top and middle notes that include lily, freesia, jasmine and violet with a warm drydown of musk, vanilla and sandalwood. Blue Jeans has citrusy top notes with a woody, aromatic finish.
According to Alfin, Versace intends Jeans to be collectors’ items and he plans to replace them with new fragrances and different color jeans names after 12 to 18 months.
Jeans was launched in Italy last May and has been rolling out to other European markets, including Germany this fall.
The other fragrances are distributed in less than 500 doors, including Versace Boutiques and department stores. Alfin estimated their combined wholesale volume at $10 million.