NEW YORK — Lanvin, which is poised to relaunch its fragrance business in the U.S., is hoping for a jump-start this fall.

The French fashion house has planned U.S. rollouts of two scents that already have launched in Europe. The first, a women’s fragrance called Éclat d’Arpège, launched two weeks ago in Barneys New York and is slated to roll out to Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sephora beginning next month. Éclat d’Arpège, which first launched in Europe in December, has reportedly generated $10 million in wholesale sales volume.

Additionally, Vetyver, a men’s scent that launched in Europe in June, is slated to hit Nordstrom counters in October, where it will stay exclusively through yearend.

New fragrances aside, Lanvin also plans to rebuild U.S. distribution of two existing scents: the 75-year-old Arpège and Lanvin L’Homme, which bowed in 1997. All told, Lanvin’s U.S. initiatives could combine to generate 2003 wholesale sales of $5 million for the company’s affiliate here, New York-based Lanvin Parfums Inc. Executives are hoping to double that figure next year.

In January, Lanvin appointed a new U.S. head, executive vice president François Duquesne, 38, who joined the company after five years at tableware marketer Christofle. During a recent interview, Duquesne said the 12-month period ending in June was “a year of transition for Lanvin in the U.S.” He was referring to the brand’s distribution, which officially reverted to Lanvin in January as a result of L’Oréal’s sale of the brand to Lanvin’s parent, Harmonie SA, two years ago. Oxygene, a scent launched by L’Oréal in Europe in 2000 and brought to the U.S. the following year, has been discontinued here, according to sources, who added that it is still produced for European and Asian markets.

Under L’Oréal, the Lanvin brand was distributed to more than 2,000 doors. But so many stores have been closed that “distribution is completely clean,” according to Duquesne, whose plan moving forward specifically calls for a controlled rollout of Lanvin to fewer than 300 doors by the spring. This distribution network would mostly be made up of specialty chains like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Barneys and Sephora, he said, adding that the current repositioning strategy is designed to yield Lanvin a “healthy and long-term” business.One of Duquesne’s first steps earlier this year was finding a U.S. sales and distribution agent. The company signed Fragrance and Beauty Services, LLC, which is headed by president and chief executive Alan Beck.

“The strategy is simple — to revive a sleeping beauty,” Duquesne remarked. Just as matter-of-factly, he acknowledged the challenges of virtually starting from scratch. “You’re a new vendor to [retailers],” he said. “It’s like a start-up business.”

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