Coty’s got a new license in the bag: the company has inked a deal with Bottega Veneta to create, develop and produce fragrances. The first products are expected in 2011.
This story first appeared in the December 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“A fragrance will help complete Bottega Veneta’s lifestyle approach,” said Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Bottega Veneta, who first alluded to the possibility of a fragrance in a WWD interview that appeared on Nov. 24. “It also gives us a tool to increase market penetration by building brand recognition and awareness. Fragrance is a definitive luxury so I think it’s important we offer that to our customers. It’s also a unique accessory, different on each person, which makes it an especially appropriate product for Bottega Veneta in light of our brand DNA.”
The conversation began after Coty successfully produced the new Balenciaga women’s fragrance, said Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty Inc.; both Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta are operated under the Gucci Group umbrella at PPR.
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“Developing prestige fragrances is a key focus for Coty and it is something we have done very well,” said Beetz, noting that the company took Marc Jacobs’ scents from a $5 million-a-year business at its acquisition to a $100 million-a-year business. “We have always built our fragrances on three pillars: fashion, celebrity and lifestyle, and this is also true going forward. While our celebrity fragrances get a lot of press, the celebrity pillar only accounts for about 10 percent of our business. Our biggest pieces are fashion and lifestyle, and we believe this license plays to the strengths of both. Bottega Veneta’s sophistication and elegance will mean a very exciting project.”
Bottega Veneta, founded in 1966, produces handbags, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, luggage and fine jewelry, among other items.
“We believe — today more than ever — that in a market which is challenging, the best way to succeed is to create compelling products,” said Michele Scannavini, president of Coty Prestige. “Bottega Veneta is a truly global brand and has appeal all over the world, especially in Asia, Europe and the U.S. We believe that we can create a strong point of difference because of the creative direction of visionary designer Tomas Maier and the strong personality of the brand, which is unique.”
The first scent will be a women’s fragrance in selective distribution, said Scannavini. “We are planning to position this scent very exclusively — in the best doors with the best possible execution,” said Scannavini, noting that the first scent will not be distributed in more than about 15 to 20 percent of Coty’s global doors.
Beetz and Scannavini declined to discuss the length of the licensing deal and the market opportunities in terms of dollars.
Bizzarri noted that Tomas Maier, Bottega Veneta’s creative director, has “clear ideas of how he wants to proceed.
“We chose to work with Coty Prestige because their experience in the luxury market enables them to understand our brand DNA and share our long-term objectives,” added Bizzarri. “When we started looking for a partner, we knew we wanted a company that was successful, innovative, comfortable with collaboration, and committed to quality. Coty Prestige is all of those things.”