PARIS — Eric Fouvez has been named the new president of Escada Beaute. He replaces Juliette Rapinat-Freudiger, who left the firm in October.

Fouvez formerly held a senior management position at Rochas, a division of Wella AG’s Cosmopolitan Cosmetics.

Since April, Escada Beaute has also been part of Wella, which signed a long-term licensing agreement including the production, distribution and marketing of fragrances and cosmetics under the Escada brand.

Fouvez, who also holds a seat on Cosmopolitan Cosmetics’ board of directors, will work with Michael Forster, another board member, on creative issues, said Werner Hofmann, senior vice president at Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, in a telephone interview from Germany on Thursday.

"As the U.S. is the most important market for all Escada products, it has been decided that Michael Forster, in New York, will oversee the product development and functions of the team in Paris, which will continue its close liaison with Escada Fashion, the licensor," said a statement from Cosmopolitan Cosmetics.

While Hofmann would not say why Rapinat-Freudiger departed, industry sources suggest she left after the completion of Escada Beaute’s integration into Wella.

"It means Escada Beaute has been completely integrated into the group and is being treated like Wella’s other fragrance brands," said one industry source of the portfolio that includes such names as Gucci, Montblanc, Anna Sui and Trussardi, among others. "Cosmopolitan Cosmetics doesn’t need anyone else to manage Escada; it can manage the brand itself."

Rapinat-Freudiger, who joined Escada Beaute in April 2001, could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, Hofmann said the management changes will not disrupt any launch plans.

"Escada is a very successful brand for us and we have great hopes of success for Ibiza Hippie," he said, referring to the upcoming seasonal fragrance.

While Hofmann is optimistic about Escada Beaute’s prospects, the firm’s financial past has been bumpy. In 2001, sales for Escada Beaute were $51 million at current exchange rates, down 42 percent year-on-year in local currencies. Its fragrances include Escada Sentiment, Escada Margaretha Ley and Escada Sport, among others.

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