PORTO CERVO, Sardinia — Acqua di Parma has opened the door to its first spa — and is aiming to open as many as 10 more locations in the next two years.

This story first appeared in the May 28, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The space has been dubbed the Blu Mediterraneo Spa and it is attached to the exclusive Costa Smeralda Yacht Club, which is located in the chic resort town of Porto Cervo, on the northwest coast of the island of Sardinia.

While the spa is open to the public and has its own entrance, the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club is owned by Prince Aga Khan and its member list of 500 sailing aficionados represents a mix of billionaires, politicians and entrepreneurs.

“It’s an amazing step forward for the brand,” said Gabriella Scarpa, international president of Acqua di Parma, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. She added that the firm’s strategy calls for the opening of 10 more spas in luxurious hotels and resorts in Italy and abroad in the next two years. “It’s about portraying the image and lifestyle of the brand and getting closer to the customer,” said Scarpa.

Spread over 8,000 square feet, the Blu Mediterraneo Spa in Porto Cervo features four cabins and boasts 20 treatments, including the Blu Mediterraneo Signature Massage, which utilizes lymphatic drainage and acupressure techniques.

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Plans call for another Blu Mediterraneo Spa to be opened later this year and, according to industry sources, it has been slated for Milan.

Acqua di Parma teamed up with Spa Chakra, a luxury spa management firm based in New York, to create its Blu Mediterraneo Spas. Spa Chakra also has a spa management deal with Guerlain, which is also owned by LVMH.

Acqua di Parma’s entry into spa operations comes on the heels of the launch this month of a five-item skin care line called Italian Resort Blu Mediterraneo.

In other Acqua di Parma developments, the brand is focusing on expanding distribution to China in October, as well as opening 30 doors in Russia in the next 18 months. Scarpa noted that the brand’s distribution would be kept strictly limited, reaching 2,000 doors in the next three years.— Stephanie Epiro

Trial of Former Marionnaud Chief Begins

PARIS — A case involving Marcel Frydman, former chief executive officer of Marionnaud Parfumeries, who is reportedly being tried for having trumped up the company’s accounts in 2002 and 2003, opened in the criminal court here Monday and continued on Tuesday.

No one from the court could be reached for comment.

Frydman’s son, Gérald, formerly Marionnaud’s vice president and financial director, and Laurent Ferré, the company’s former financial controller, are also implicated in the case, according to reports.

Decisions regarding the case are to be handed down on July 9.

This is not the first time Frydman has appeared in court. As reported, in October he was fined 15,000 euros, or $23,568 at current exchange, plus thousands of euros in damages for having illegally sold fragrance tester bottles from prestige brands such as Parfums Kenzo and Yves Saint Laurent Parfums. In July, Frydman was fined 1 million euros, or $1.57 million, by France’s securities regulator for having falsified Marionnaud’s accounts.

Frydman left the perfumery chain in September 2005, seven months after selling Marionnaud to A.S. Watson.— Jennifer Weil

French Selective Beauty Business Gains

PARIS — The French selective beauty market rang up sales of 2.9 billion euros, or $3.98 billion at average yearly exchange, a 4.5 percent rise last year over 2006, according to a study by The NPD Group. Of that, fragrances generated 1.8 billion euros, or $2.47 billion, a 5 percent gain; skin care made up 652 million euros, or $893.7 million, a 3 percent increase, and makeup came in at 389 million euros, or $533.2 million, up 4.8 percent.

In volume, France’s selective beauty business registered a 2.4 percent uptick to 73 million units. The fragrance business increased 3.6 percent to 39 million units, makeup rose 1.9 percent to 16 million units, and skin care was up 0.5 percent to 18 million units.

The average price in euros for a selective beauty product in France came in at 39.55 euros, or $54.21, a 2 percent increase last year on 2006.— J.W.

Chanel Adds Blavet as Makeup Artist

PARIS — Claire Blavet has been named Chanel’s makeup artist for France, a newly developed position. She was appointed to the job by Peter Philips, the company’s international creative director of makeup.— J.W.


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