By  on December 9, 2005

NEW YORK — Coty bid bon voyage to landlubbers this week when it unfurled Nautica's first scent in three years, a men's fragrance called Voyage, and introduced a new spokesman and ad campaign for Davidoff Cool Water.

At The Water Club here Tuesday, Coty unveiled the new Nautica eau de toilette, a fresh, aquatic fougere scent. Thursday night, the company presented Laird Hamilton as the new face of Cool Water at Divine Studio (see story, this page).

"Coty overall is the biggest fragrance company in the world," Bernd Beetz, the company's chief executive officer, told attendees at the Nautica event. "We think we are the most successful fragrance company in the world."

He asserted Coty is building its fragrance business around three pillars: "designer, lifestyle [and] celebrity" brands, Nautica and Davidoff being part of the lifestyle portfolio. "All elements of [Nautica] make us very excited. This introduction provides newness to an already well-established brand and will help to energize the men's fragrance category."

"Today is a very exciting day," said Denise Seegal, president and ceo of parent VF Corp.'s sportswear coalition and president and ceo of Nautica. She pointed to the fact that Nautica Voyage is the brand's first fragrance launch with Coty, since the beauty company acquired Nautica fragrances in its $800 million buy this year of Unilever's prestige fragrance business. Voyage is slated to reach about 2,000 to 2,200 doors in the U.S. in April.

Seegal, who joined Nautica a year ago from JLo — another of Coty's fragrance licenses — noted Nautica's partnership with Coty is an important part of the plan to double the size of Nautica into a $4 billion global brand in the next five years.

"Fragrance is the first entry point [into a brand] for consumers," she said, adding a "long line" of Nautica fragrances are to shove off after Voyage, including a women's scent as early as next year.

Dennis M. Keogh, vice president of marketing for Lancaster Group U.S., referred to Nautica's plan to introduce a women's sportswear collection for fall 2006. Added Seegal, "The women's component [will] give us a great growth opportunity."

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