GAULTIER TAKES ON NEW YORK

Byline: Laura Klepacki

NEW YORK — “Our relationship with Bloomingdale’s is no longer fragile!” toasted a playful Jean Paul Gaultier at a lunch last Friday hosted by Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive, Michael Gould, to celebrate the U.S. launch of the designer’s latest scent.
Not that it ever was. In fact, the New York retailer rolled out the red carpet for the Paris designer and his Fragile perfume last week. Bloomingdale’s windows were filled with a blown-up images of the innovative snow-globe bottle. Fragile signage appeared on pillars and escalators. And Gaultier fashions were prominently featured in the store.
Gaultier returned the favor, giving an hour-long online chat at Bloomingdales.com and autographing bottles from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. Both reaped benefits.
According to industry sources, about 200 pieces were sold, totaling $13,500 for the day.
Fragile, which was launched in Europe in the fall, will limit its U.S. distribution to 110 doors. It opened on Feb. 27 in Bloomingdale’s stores and Nieman Marcus in Texas, where Bloomingdale’s does not operate. On April 1 it will roll out to select Saks, Nordstrom and Dayton Hudson stores, according to Maggie Ciafardini, general manager of Beaute Prestige International USA, which markets the fragrance.
She did not discuss the sales results; neither did store executives.
The line of customers waiting to see Gaultier was apparently so long, Bloomingdale’s served up some Godiva chocolates to sweeten the wait.

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