COLOGNE, Germany — Wella AG said Wednesday it has signed a fragrance licensing deal with Anna Sui in an unorthodox three-sided arrangement.
The German hair care giant will share the designer’s beauty business with Japanese cosmetics maker Albion, which holds Sui’s color cosmetics and skin care license.
Under the agreement, Wella will produce and market Sui fragrances while Albion introduces a Sui color collection for Japan, with both launches targeted for 1999. Wella will sell the fragrances to Albion, which will distribute them inside Japan. Similarly, Albion will sell the color cosmetics to Wella for distribution outside Japan.
The arrangement stems from the fact that Tokyo-based retailer Isetan holds the rights to the Sui name in Japan. Under the Wella pact, Isetan waived its rights to the fragrance part of its license on the condition that its sub-licensee, Albion, be made the Japanese distributor of the Wella-produced fragrances.
“For us it’s a perfect deal,” said Werner Hofmann, regional vice president for North America, Asia, the Far East, Africa, northern Europe and European duty-free at Wella. “It gives us great potential in Asia and a chance to work with a very good partner.”
In New York, Sui said she expects the pact to solidify the brand’s image.
“It’s a complement to the fashion,” she said. “It gives us something that is more accessible because of the advertising and because it will be affordable.”

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