OLDHAM SCENT TO BOW AT NEIMAN’S

Byline: Soren Larson

NEW YORK — Todd Oldham’s world continues to expand.
The designer opened his first store in September on Wooster Street here, hooked up with Escada AG last month as a creative consultant and now has completed the launch plans for a signature women’s fragrance, to be introduced in March.
“Having a free 20 minutes is a luxury to me,” said Oldham. “But I’m very psyched to be doing this. Fragrance is the only thing I do that I actually get to enjoy myself.”
Parlux, which itself has been on a steady growth track, owns the Oldham fragrance license and will launch the product in the 27 doors of Neiman Marcus on March 12. The scent will also be available at the Oldham boutique starting March 1.
“Todd’s a Texas boy, and [Neiman’s is] his hometown store,” said Jeffrey Dame, senior vice president of sales and marketing at the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based company.
On March 24, the fragrance will be rolled out to 62 Nordstrom doors along with the Henri Bendel store in New York, and will add new, as yet undetermined accounts in the fall, Dame said. He said the item should be in around 600 doors by the end of September.
The product will be rolled out to 20 to 25 international markets, primarily in Europe and Central America, in 1996.
“Todd’s been getting a lot of attention lately, so retailers want this product,” said Dame. “He’s been getting a ton of press, and his show on MTV gives him direct access to the youth market.”
Oldham began making guest appearances on MTV’s “House of Style” fashion program five years ago, eventually securing his own segment called Todd Time. He also has sold his clothes on the network’s home shopping show, “The Goods.”
“With [Calvin Klein’s] CK One, we began to see a broader based department store interest in youth,” said Dame. “We should be able to hit the same crowd. We’ve tailored our marketing message to fit where we think the young customer is going to be.”
To that end, the scent will be featured in those Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s catalogs “which have a youthful focus,” Dame said.
In addition, beginning in April, the fragrance will be advertised in the youth-culture-oriented magazine Paper, as well as the beauty and fashion stalwarts Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, Allure and W.
The campaign will run at least through December, Dame said.
“The domestic print schedule is about a $2.2 million buy,” he said.
While Parlux is confident in the growing significance of the Oldham name, the company is being conservative in its sales forecast: the scent is projected to do $5 million at wholesale in 1995.
“We actually think we might blow that out of the water,” Dame said. “But first, we want it to be meaningful in the doors that it’s in. And then we want it to be here in five years.”
Oldham also expressed a desire for staying power, rather than the quick up-and-down of many recent fragrance introductions.
“I liked the coziness of Parlux,” he said. “And they also can give me the luxury of time. They’re taking it slow and casual, and that’s what I’m all about.”
Oldham himself came up with the bottle design, a cut crystal base with a crown as the stopper.
“The bottles are based on a classic diamond cut,” he said. “The crown doesn’t really mean anything — it’s just been my logo for years.
“I also thought it was important not to have my name on it,” he added. “Why would a woman want to keep seeing my name on her bureau?”
The designer, who said he is a fan of Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium and the Jean Laporte scents sold at Bendel’s, also had a hand in the making of the fragrance itself, which was fashioned by Florasynth.
“I wanted a paradox, which is what we represent,” he said. “Right now we mean something to the extravagant fashion consumer, but also to the kids. So we’re hard to define.
“The fragrance is like that because it has the vegetable notes, like cucumber, so it starts out crisp. But then it dries down to incense and sandalwood. I was intrigued by the idea of a linear fragrance — it really changes over time.”
The Oldham scent will be launched with five items: a 1-oz. parfum for $250, a 4.2-oz. eau de parfum spray for $75, a 4.2-oz. eau de parfum pour for $72.50, a 2.5-oz. eau de parfum spray for $50, and a 2.5-oz. eau de parfum pour for $47.50. The line will also include a 6.7-oz. body cream for $50.
In September, a 1-oz. eau de parfum at $29 will be added “specifically to access the 16 to 24-year-olds,” according to Dame.
Oldham now has a signature collection and a better-priced line, a home furnishings line, a license for footwear and will soon have one for legwear. His wholesale business is estimated to be nearing $15 million annually.
In October, Oldham signed a three-year agreement with Escada to serve as creative consultant. Oldham will work with the existing 18-member design team to develop direction, color and prints for the Escada Margaretha Ley and Escada Couture collections.
Parlux has also been busy of late, acquiring the Fred Hayman fragrances and the worldwide manufacturing rights to the Perry Ellis fragrances this year.
For its last fiscal year, which ended March 31, Parlux sales totaled $25.36 million. The company projects that volume will hit $40 million by the end of this fiscal year and $60 million at the end of March 1996.
“We’re very excited about this launch,” said Dame of the Oldham scent. “It’s a great addition to the Parlux roster.”

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