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MAT; SHOWS ITS MASCULINE SIDE

Byline: Matthew W. Evans

NEW YORK — Mat; has set its sights on men.
A year after launching a women’s scent, Japanese fashion designer Masaki Matsushima and U.S. distributor Quadrant Cosmetics Corp. have launched a men’s version of mat;.
Mat; male will have a U.S. distribution network comparable to that of its predecessor — only faster. It’s slated to reach 150 Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Sephora doors by next month and a total of 360 doors by yearend. Originally introduced in 28 doors, mat; female is now carried in 300 doors and has reportedly garnered $3 million in wholesale sales volume, or $4.8 million at retail. Mat; female is scheduled to enter an additional 110 doors by fall.
Accompanying the men’s scent is the brand’s first ad campaign. A visual depicting a nursing boy is meant to capture a masculinity found in the eyes and soul rather than in the biceps. Matsushima believes it’s a concept that’s typically missed in masculine images of Western culture. The print ad also tries to portray a “duality” of “masculinity yet tenderness” — the concept behind the fragrance itself. The cost of the campaign, which breaks in the June issue of the 155,000-circulation monthly Out Magazine, includes 500,000 Max Racks postcard ads and a direct-mail campaign, is estimated by industry sources to be about $500,000, a number that’s expected to increase next year.
The concept for the bottle and scent are Matsushima’s. Takasago’s Jean Jacques concocted the juice. Mat; male, which comes in 40-ml. and 80-ml. sizes for $60 and $85, respectively, has top notes of baies roses and grapefruit, accords of lotus flower and white cedarwood at the heart and base notes of crystal musk and reed wood. Launching simultaneously are an 80-ml. aftershave for $40 and a deodorant for $15.
Mat; male is expected to account for 23 percent of the U.S. business this year and sources see it driving total wholesale sales past $5 million, or $8 million at retail. When both scents are in full U.S. distribution next year, total sales could top $7 million at wholesale, or $11.2 million at retail, with mat; male eventually accounting for 34 percent of the business.

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