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Coty Prestige, Roberto Cavalli Ink Licensing Deal

Roberto Cavalli has lined up a new fragrance partner — Coty Prestige.

Roberto Cavalli has lined up a new fragrance partner — Coty Prestige.

The designer and Coty are expected to reveal today that they have signed a license for the Roberto Cavalli and Just Cavalli brands.

The deal will take effect in July 2011, when Cavalli’s current fragrance license with Italian beauty firm ICR-ITF expires, and the first Coty-produced Cavalli scents are expected to hit counters in spring 2012. Cavalli’s current licensee could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

“I had been approached by other companies, but Coty is the number-one fragrance company and they can give me the support to grow my perfumes even more,” Cavalli told WWD Tuesday. “We already have a strong business, but I want it to grow even more. I want to be in every big city and in every department store all over the world. The perfume should be the image of my power, my charisma.” With a roguish laugh, the designer added, “I want to make my perfume for all the most beautiful girls in the world. I want them to go out with Cavalli perfume on the neck. I want their boyfriends to notice how good they smell. Cavalli is sexy.”

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Gianluca Brozzetti, chief executive officer of the Roberto Cavalli Group, noted that once the decision was made to work with a new partner, “Coty took a leading role over possible contenders — they understood our brands and our plans. Cavalli is a name which is internationally recognized, with strong business in many areas including the Middle East and Europe. We look forward to continuing to build our fragrance business with our new partner, Coty.”

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The Cavalli apparel business, Brozzetti added, is celebrating its 40th anniversary and has created a limited edition celebratory fragrance with its existing partner, ICR-ITF.

“Roberto Cavalli is a longtime friend and a very unique and colorful designer,” said Bernd Beetz, ceo of Coty Inc. “His very distinctive designs bring a lot of juice to the fragrance market, and we’re looking forward to working with Roberto to further grow his fragrance business.”

Michele Scannavini, president of Coty Prestige, noted that while the current license doesn’t expire for another 12 months, Coty wants to be prepared to launch a new Cavalli fragrance soon after the existing agreement ends.

All executives declined comment on the length of the contract and the financial terms of the deal.

The first product on Coty’s docket for Cavalli will most likely be a new women’s fragrance, said Scannavini. “We can’t exclude other businesses like color [cosmetics], but our first priority will be to establish a strong fragrance business,” he said. “We don’t want to hurry too much as we want that strong foundation.”

Scannavini noted that significant market opportunities exist for Cavalli fragrances. “They are strongly distributed in Italy, but we plan to significantly improve the brand’s international presence,” said Scannavini, noting that he believes the U.S., the U.K., the Middle East and Russia represent underexplored market opportunities. “In markets where awareness of the Cavalli name is high, we can begin rolling out right away in spring 2012, and in others, like the U.S., we will follow a more phased distribution. Each country will have its own strategy. The scent will be in selective distribution, but the scope is not that of a niche presence.”