NEW YORK — American Eagle Outfitters, the apparel marketer that targets customers in their late teens and early 20s, is taking its first full-fledged steps into the fragrance business with the October launch of a pair of signature scents under the American Eagle Real banner.
American Eagle Real for Him and Real for Her, are to bow Oct. 24 at 850 American Eagle Outfitters stores in the U.S. as well as the firm’s 80 doors in Canada and at ae.com. The advertising and promotional campaign might top $5 million, based on sources’ estimates.
“We’ve never had both a male and female signature fragrance in the brand before,” said Betsy Schumacher, vice president and general merchandise manager for intimates and personal care. In addition to the scents, Schumacher will oversee aerie by American Eagle, an intimate apparel subbrand the company also is launching in the fall.
“We’re a lifestyle brand,” she said. “So the way we thought about the fragrance is within the context of, ‘What fragrance would our guy and girl put on when going to school, on a date or being with friends?'”
Annual revenues at the 29-year-old company, which have steadily risen in the past few years, topped $2.3 billion for the fiscal year ended Jan. 28. The new fragrances are “a reflection of the brand coming of age,” Schumacher said. “They are a natural extension of the brand.”
While she declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate the two fragrances could combine to generate sales volume of $20 million in the first year.
American Eagle Outfitters has dipped a toe into the fragrance business before. In 2001, it launched a unisex scent called Alive. Then, in 2003, the company introduced a women’s scent called Aura. Schumacher described these efforts, which are no longer on the market, as “trend [scents], more about the fashion of the times.”
The American Eagle Real duo is, in contrast, more representative of the “true soul of the brand,” Schumacher said. It will target the company’s core demographic — “young, cool, hip” 15- to 25-year-olds.
To create the new scents, American Eagle Outfitters collaborated with fragrance consultant Doreen Bollhofer, who is formerly of Ralph Lauren Fragrances and has since worked on scents such as Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely.
American Eagle Real for Her, an eau de toilette that is described as an “exuberant” earthy floral scent, was blended by International Flavors & Fragrances. It features top notes of pink grapefruit, pomegranate and mandarin; a heart of water lotus, muguet and orange flower petal, and a dry down of creamy patchouli, white birch wood and sandalwood.
Real for Him, a cologne that was mixed by Symrise, includes citrus, green and cardamom top notes; middle notes of fir balsam, rosewood and jasmine, and base accords of vetiver, tonka, amber and patchouli.
The Real for Her eau de toilette will come in three sizes, a 1.7-oz bottle for $34.50, a 0.5-oz. version for $19.50 and a 0.2-oz. size for $12.50. The Real for Him scent will come in two versions, a 1.7-oz. cologne for $34.50 and a 4.5-oz. body spray for $8.50.
The scents’ bottles were designed by Chad Lavigne, who was inspired by belt buckles he saw while at American Eagle Outfitters’ design center. Both bottles have a low profile. The gray-brown men’s bottle is rectangular, while the pink women’s bottle is rounded. The front of each has a concave depression, where the labels are. Glass maker Bormioli Luigi produced the flacons.
Print ads will run in the December issues of Seventeen and Cosmogirl. Some 10 million samples of Real will be distributed in stores and shipped with purchases made at ae.com between October and December. There also will be direct mail and e-mail promotional efforts for the scents.