By  on April 21, 2006

NEW YORK — Art Spiro hopes retailers will get Lucky this fall — his company's Lucky Number 6 fragrance masterbrand, that is.

Spiro, president of Liz Claiborne Cosmetics and its fragrance brands — which include Curve, Realities and Ellen Tracy — said he is excited about bringing the apparel brand's first fragrances into the market in August. He noted that he sees the Lucky scents as part of the company's evolution from a very promotional, department-store-only fragrance house to a more diversified beauty company that also offers brands suitable for higher-end specialty stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. "Over the next two years, we will continue to diversify our distribution," he noted.

While Spiro declined to give specifics, it's likely that some of the more upscale brands owned by Liz Claiborne Cosmetics' parent company, Liz Claiborne Inc. — such as Juicy Couture and Dana Buchman — could see their own fragrance projects come to fruition. Liz Claiborne Inc. purchased 85 percent of the Vernon, Calif.-based Lucky Brand Jeans for $85 million in 1999 and has since acquired the remaining shares. And the scent has already earned a seal of approval from Gene Montesano, Lucky's founder: "We feel the packaging is outstanding and the advertising breakthrough. We're looking forward to the fall launch of the fragrance."

Spiro noted that the number six, in Chinese culture, is said to be lucky, making the name a natural for the first Lucky-branded fragrances.

Both scents were developed by International Flavors and Fragrances. The men's juice, by IFF's Clement Gavarry, Jean-Marc Chaillan and Loc Dong, is what Spiro terms "a mysterious, woody fougère." Its top notes are of watery greens, balanced with bergamot, neroli and pineapple zest; its heart is of supple suede accord, hydroponic plum, geranium, ginger lily and nutmeg, and its drydown is of cashmere, tonka bean, amber, sandalwood, cedarwood and musk. The women's scent, by IFF's Loc Dong, Laurent LeGuernec and Pascal Gaurin, is a warm floral. Its top notes are of tiger lily, living osmanthus, peony and crushed lotus leaves; its heart is of jasmine tea, wet lychee and shiso, and its drydown is of amber, cashmere woods and musk.For women, eaux de toilette in two sizes, 1.7 oz. for $50 and 3.4 oz. for $60, will be offered, as will a 6.7-oz. shower gel for $30 and a 6.7-oz. body milk for $35. For men, eaux de toilette in two sizes, 1.7 oz. for $45 and 3.4 oz. for $55, will be available, as will a 3.4-oz. aftershave tonic, $35; a 6.7-oz. exfoliating shower gel for $25, and a 2.6-oz. deodorant for $15. The women's juice is in a frosted glass bottle adorned with red flowers and topped with a red cap, which was inspired by vintage Chinese fragrance bottles, said Spiro. The men's bottle is a deep crimson with a black embossed dragon and embossed Chinese characters. The packaging was designed by Paul McLaughlin and Thomas Bateman, and the bottle manufacturers were Brosse and SGD for the women's and men's, respectively.

The fragrances are expected to appeal to consumers 18 to 35 years old, with the "sweet spot" being men and women 21 years of age, said Spiro.

The scents will be available in about 1,800 department and specialty stores, including Lucky's freestanding retail store, noted Debbie Nuzzo, national sales director for the scent brand. Those store numbers are set to increase: As reported, the brand plans to add neighborhood Lucky jeans stores throughout the U.S. and Europe in 2007.

National advertising is slated to break in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and music magazines in September, said Nuzzo. The campaign has not yet been shot, although Spiro emphasizes that the "ads will be breakthrough and will also be very much in the spirit and DNA of the Lucky brand."

While executives declined to discuss sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the Lucky masterbrand could do about $45 million at retail in its first year on counter and that about $21 million in total would be spent on advertising and promotion, including outdoor advertising.

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