NEW YORK — Sarah Michaels, the brand that for some people brings to mind grandma poking through a cellophane-wrapped basket of floral mists on Mother’s Day, will all but be forgotten. At least that’s what the brand’s owners are...
NEW YORK — Sarah Michaels, the brand that for some people brings to mind grandma poking through a cellophane-wrapped basket of floral mists on Mother’s Day, will all but be forgotten. At least that’s what the brand’s owners are hoping.
Beginning in January, a more contemporary Sarah Michaels incarnation begins shipping to retailers nationwide. New packaging, new formulas and eight new gift-set ideas have been modeled after a modern woman’s lifestyle, rather than a fragrance, the basis for Sarah Michaels’ past existence. The new line looks to bump sales up 40 percent in 2003 to $150 million.
"The previous Sarah Michaels had become very old in its appeal," said Kathy Alaama, vice president of marketing for Sarah Michaels LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hathi Group of Chicago. The Hathi Group acquired Sarah Michaels and Freeman Cosmetics from The Dial Corp. in August 2001. The Sarah Michaels relaunch marks the company’s efforts for the outdated bath brand.
But while Sarah Michaels may have dropped off the innovators list, Alaama said that the brand still had wide appeal in focus groups. The new Sarah Michaels should target this wide demographic range, Alaama said, which is now coming back to mass stores for their bath products, since prestige and specialty stores are not providing the "experience" shoppers are seeking. "If you look at market research, shoppers are slowly leaving higher-end specialty shops because of this glaring [experience] miss. This provides a platform for Sarah Michaels at mass."
Eight different flavors have been tailored to target a particular personality or lifestyle, with a different female icon representing each profile. The original graphic designer of Sarah Michaels, Jessica Godbey, was tapped to design the products’ new packaging. "Although I wanted to give Sarah Michaels her next life, I needed to maintain her soul," Alaama said of seeking out Godbey.
Ginger Citrus targets an active, energetic and exotic woman and contains ginger root. Cucumber Honeydew looks to appeal to a woman who’s cool and calm and contains cucumber. Marine Spa targets the adventurous woman and contains sea kelp. Jasmine & Waterlily goes after a sweet and innocent woman and contains angelica root, a skin smoothing ingredient. Rose Silk targets the romantic and contains essence of rose and passion flower. Sun-Ripe Pear should appeal to a spirited sort and contains fruit extracts. Vanilla Sugar looks to appeal to indulgent types and contains vanilla bean and sugar cane. Milk & Honey looks to warm hearts and contains milk and honey. Each scent offers a themed gift set, as well as five core products: a body lotion, a body mist, a body wash, a shower scrub and extra-thick body cream.Despite the upgrade, prices will drop to $5.99 from $6.99. Gift sets will start at $9.99. With special touches, such as peach-shaped loofahs and beauty recipe cards, the gift sets look to evoke the "oohs" and "ahhs" the brand became famous for in the Nineties.Inarguably, Sarah Michaels single-handedly established the bath-and-body category in mass with innovative delivery systems (mists) and multidimensional flavors (fruity-florals). It’s also credited with introducing a true bath-and-body merchandising concept in one section of the store, allowing the customer for the first time to have the same shopping mind-set in mass as she did in specialty stores, such as Crabtree & Evelyn. Whether Sarah Michaels can reinvent itself well enough for customers who still appreciate the brand remains to be seen, especially since an influx of private label and nationally branded bath-and-body products continues to flood the category.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion