DONNA’S DOINGS: Donna Karan and her husband and business partner, Stephan Weiss, shared a dimly lit corner booth last week at Jones, the Hollywood bar and restaurant of the moment. In front of them, on the table, was something they were sharing credit for: their latest fragrance creation, DK Men. Milling around them was a horde of Nordstrom buyers and executives.
“It’s our first real collaboration,” said Weiss, picking up the gunmetal and black glass flask. “I worked on the bottle design and the fragrance, and Donna provided the image for the campaign. It’s an engagement between us.”
Launched exclusively in five markets, beginning with Bloomingdale’s New York Nov. 6, the scent should rack up $8 million in retail sales during the initial two months, according to industry sources.
Jane Scott, vice president of cosmetics and fragrance at Bloomingdale’s, said DK Men was the chain’s top-selling men’s scent in November, despite being in only seven doors. She expects the fragrance to be in the store’s top 10 and possibly the top five for the full holiday season.
“Frankly, it’s more a question of their being able to ship us at the level of business we’re doing,” Scott said.
Jane Terker, president of the Donna Karan Beauty Co., said the company followed the strategy it used for Karan’s women’s fragrance by selecting a limited number of doors in a handful of accounts. In addition to Bloomingdale’s, DK Men launched at Nordstrom, Marshall Field’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
“It’s the same strategy we used when we rolled out our women’s fragrance and even our apparel,” Terker said. “It’s not about being everywhere. It’s about being important.”
Being important is one thing. Being profitable is another. Terker said that after two years of expected losses, the Beauty Co. stands a good chance of showing a profit in 1995.
FILL ‘ER UP WITH ANGEL: Thierry Mugler Parfums has adopted a gas-station approach: Users of Mugler’s Angel scent can now stop into the Saks flagship to fill their empty bottles from a tank of fragrance.
The company has installed a metal unit, called the Angel Source, which holds 500 ml. of eau de parfum. The contraption has a tap from which customers can draw replenishment.
A refill of the 75-ml. eau de parfum, which costs $150 new, goes for $75, while a topping-off of a 50-ml. eau de parfum, $95 new, costs $60.
The Source was installed last week at the Mugler counter and already the brand has seen a jump in sales.
“It’s been very solid since we launched it last year,” said Steve Bock, senior vice president of Saks, adding that Angel would be in the store’s top five rankings for the year.
Benjamin Gillikin, general manager of Mugler Parfums, noted that the addition of the Source, along with a new Angel body cream, would help boost Angel sales by 150 percent this month, pushing the brand past $600,000 at retail for the year in the Saks flagship.
SAKS’ NEW BABY: Saks is also home to a new luxury baby line called Tisha. Considering its prices — try $35 for a 100-ml. bottle of lotion or $19.50 for a 250-ml. bottle of shampoo — only the pampered child need apply.
For that reason, the chain is putting the French-made line in the baby departments in eight of its doors.
“They felt it would be lost in the cosmetics department,” said Pascal Arnaud, president of PFA Management Group, Tisha’s parent. “The products are geared mostly toward baby showers and gifts and will get a better response in the baby department.”
Consisting of seven products, with two more slated for release in the next few months, Tisha is scheduled to be launched in France in early 1995, and shortly after in Asia. Arnaud said he plans to begin rolling out the line in the U.S. in 1995, reaching 500 doors within a couple of years.
If all goes according to plan and Tisha is on track to hit a wholesale volume of $750,000 its first year, Arnaud said he intended to begin advertising the line in mid-1995 in women’s and parenting magazines.