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Coach to Launch Coach for Men’s Fragrance

Interparfums already has flankers for both men's and women's Coach fragrances in the works.

Coach’s guy is getting a new fragrance.

Coach for Men, a woody scent with a fresh top note, is slated to launch this September. It’s aimed at the quintessential Coach “guy” — not man, Coach creative director Stuart Vevers specified.

“It’s intentional in as much as it is something that I’ve always used,” Vevers clarified. “I’ve always talked about the Coach guy — there’s a certain ease about that reference to me. That’s a really important part about what Coach is, Coach has that ease to it, that effortlessness that ultimately for me, translates as cool — that’s really a starting point.”

For that guy, Coach has developed its first men’s fragrance, which starts with top notes of green nashi pear, combined with bergamot and kumquat. The heart of the fragrance is made up of cardamom, coriander and geranium for warmth, with a touch of sweetness. Vetiver Haiti LMR, Suede and Ambergris compose the base. Perfumers Anne Flipo and Bruno Jovanovic from International Flavors & Fragrances crafted the blend, which comes as a 12 percent eau de toilette.

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The men’s fragrance rounds out an assortment of ready-to-wear, shoes, scarves and sunglasses for men, Vevers said. “It makes sense to complete our guy’s wardrobe with a fragrance,” he said. “We launched our women’s retail fragrance, our new signature fragrance last year and it felt natural to have a companion for guys, and Coach is obviously a destination for men’s wear and leather goods for guys, so it felt really like a natural next step,” Vevers said.

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“I see the Coach guy as a curator of cult Americana — he’s from a new generation that mashes up and remixes from a huge array of different sources. I definitely see him as a maverick. It’ s about embracing authenticity and character that comes from the idea of [the] imperfect — celebrating the things that make you unique. Ultimately, he’s a cool American guy,” Vevers said.

And so, he said, is James Franco — who has signed on to be the face of the fragrance.

“He’s charming, he’s interesting, he’s cool,” Vevers said. “What interests me is that he’s very thoughtful, he challenges things and he’s also really handsome.”

The fragrance was crafted to appeal to a broad audience, said Philippe Benacin, director and president and chief executive officer of Interparfums SA.

“It’s younger, it’s urban for sure as Coach is in New York and the fragrance is very urban also … but it’s not only for New Yorkers,” Benacin said. “It’s not a niche fragrance.”

Coach for Men is expected to roll out in September to about 2,000 U.S. doors and between 8,000-10,000 European doors, followed by another 3,000-4,000 doors in January, according to Benacin. Industry sources estimate the blend could do about $12 million in retail sales in the second half of the year.

“Each time we’ve mentioned James Franco was the face of Coach Men we’ve had tremendous effect at the retail level,” Benacin said.

The fragrance is housed in a dégradé deep navy glass bottle with a turnlock cap and handtag — references to classic hardware on Coach bags. “We wanted to duplicate the style and concept that was behind the ladies’ line already,” Benacin said. “It’s in the same spirit and the handtag signature is the same, the toplock is the same.”

Interparfums is planning to spend between $10 million and $12 million in advertising — print, digital and some street ads, according to sources. The campaign shows Franco sporting a Coach leather jacket and leaning against a vintage car with the New York skyline, having just returned from a cross-country road trip. Franco is presented as “the Coach Guy” — an adventurous, risk-taking romantic. The campaign was styled by Karl Templer with art direction by Baron & Baron, which also handled bottle and packaging design.

Coach’s women’s launch has picked up traction, and Interparfums is currently working on additional scents. “We are already working on the flanker of the women’s fragrance,” Benacin noted. “We’ll also have an extension of the men’s fragrance for next year.”