ANDREA JOVINE SIGNS FRAGRANCE DEAL WITH DOMINION

Byline: Pete Born

NEW YORK--Andrea Jovine will now try to apply her fashion touch to fragrance.
The designer has signed a licensing deal with Dominion Associates Inc., a privately held fragrance distribution and manufacturing company headed by Gerard Semhon, chairman and chief executive officer.
As its first Jovine project, Dominion aims to introduce a women's fragrance next fall, with a prelaunch sampling campaign in September and the debut in October, Semhon said. He noted he plans to incorporate characteristics of Jovine's fashion business into the fragrance project.
For instance, he will borrow her practice of making each successive collection compatible with looks from the previous season. Semhon said he was thinking of having a group of compatible scents--"a light fragrance for summer and a heavier scent in the fall, but always in the same family."
Prior to signing the deal, Semhon, Jovine and her husband, Victor Coopersmith, ceo of Coopersmith Enterprises, the family apparel firm, already had begun work on the project. The group initiated discussions with bottle designer Ben Kotyuk and with fragrance suppliers--International Flavors & Fragrances, Firmenich, Dragoco, Manes and Takasago.
Semhon said the group had picked white flowers as the family for the first fragrance--a category that is not burgeoning with brands, but has produced such classics as Fracas.
"My preference is for something with a softer edge," said Jovine, who added she had never adopted any particular fragrance. "I have worn fragrances, but nothing with any continuity."
Jovine noted she was thinking of incorporating knit fabric into the outer packaging of the fragrance, since it is a signature material of her apparel.
"It would be something that relates to what we do," she said. "We do a lot of novelty trends. That is reflected in the collection."
Semhon plans to take a page from the value-oriented pricing philosophy that Coopersmith applies to the Jovine bridge sportswear collection, large sizes, dresses and planned suit line. Semhon envisions an opening price point of $40 or more for a 1.7-oz. bottle, but the concentration of essential oils will be 15 percent, much higher than the traditional percentage for an eau de toilette.
Semhon said he planned to "mimic" Jovine's ready-to-wear distribution of 250 to 300 doors, in an eclectic mix ranging from Neiman Marcus to Dillard Department Stores. The distribution will grow to only about 600 doors in the second year.
But Semhon plans to market the fragrance overseas via the duty-free business, in addition to distributing it in the Middle East and select European and Latin American markets. He declined to make a sales projection, but sources indicate Semhon will be conservative, shooting for $5 million wholesale in domestic sales the first full year and slightly more than that overseas.
The launch will be fueled with an estimated $2.5 million in advertising and promotion, centered on women's fashion and regional magazines and store catalogs. Semhon stressed that sampling would be heavy.
The main objective is to appeal to the Jovine consumer, whom Coopersmith described as a nontraditional, offbeat sportswear customer, age 25 to 60, "who doesn't have to wear a blazer and a skirt to the office."

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