ESCADA CREATES NEW FIRM TO BUILD ITS FRAGRANCE STABLE
Byline: Soren Larson
NEW YORK — Escada Beaute is starting anew in the U.S.
The fragrance house has joined forces with the Escada USA fashion firm to create a company called Adipar Ltd., which will assume marketing and sales responsibilities for the Escada scents in America. It will also handle the Van Cleef & Arpels stable, which was turned over to Escada by Sanofi Beauté last week.
Escada Beaute Ltd. “as such, will disappear in the U.S., but the name will remain in existence to keep the worldwide identity of Escada,” said Claude Palatin, president of the Paris-based parent company, Escada Beaute SARL.
Adipar is jointly owned by Escada Beaute and Escada USA, both subsidiaries of the Munich-based Escada AG, in order to create more synergy between the Escada fashion and beauty brands, according to Ronald L. Frasch, president and chief executive officer of Escada USA.
While employees of the fashion and beauty houses will not share responsibilities, “fashion will be involved in communicating a common image,” Frasch noted. “We need to be more consistent worldwide, and if we insure a similar image, it gives us a better relationship not only with customers, but with retailers.”
Adipar will be steered by Nicholas Ratut, who had been international director of Escada Beaute in Paris. He will inaugurate the company on Feb. 14 when he relocates to New York and takes over as vice president and chief operating officer, reporting to Palatin.
“I’ll be looking to see what needs to be done to reinforce the structure at that time,” Ratteur said.
The Van Cleef fragrances, which will continue to be distributed by Sanofi outside the U.S., are the first of many brands that Adipar will handle, said Palatin, who declined to divulge names.
“I’m certain we will be making announcements shortly,” he said. “We are looking for brands with a strong identity and a need to be very selectively distributed.”
Escada Beaute was close to signing a deal early last year to handle the Romeo Gigli scents in the U.S., but when U.S. president Lawrence Appel resigned in April and Palatin took the worldwide reins, the idea was scrapped.
“We rethought our strategy at that point, and we decided we weren’t in a position to take on brands at that time,” said Palatin.
He added that Van Cleef is a better fit for Adipar.
“Van Cleef has a similar image and is about the same size as Escada [fragrances],” he said. According to industry estimates, each brand did around $12 million at wholesale in the U.S. last year.
In addition, Escada is plotting a March launch for its third “fashion fragrance,” which takes its cue from the apparel industry in having only a limited run of a few months. This year’s effort is called Ocean Blue.
“It’s a very successful concept. Last year, we sold 700,000 pieces of Ete en Provence,” Palatin said. “We should do the same [with Ocean Blue].”
He also said there could be another new Escada fragrance by the end of the year, as well as an additional Van Cleef scent.
“We want to expand, but we know we can’t force brands to be more than what they are,” Palatin said. “Markets are tough right now.”