NEW YORK — It’s a year of milestones for Donna Karan.
The designer is gearing up to mark the 20th anniversary of the launch of her business and the 10th anniversary of her popular Cashmere Mist scent — and is kicking off the celebration with a Cashmere rendition.
“Over the years, Donna’s passion for cashmere has only grown, which is why for the 10-year anniversary of Cashmere Mist, she created Pure Cashmere Eau de Parfum — a more intense, more sensual way to experience the same amazing fragrance,” said Diane Kim, vice president of global marketing for Donna Karan Cosmetics.
Pure Cashmere Eau de Parfum takes the notes of the original sheer floral scent and intensifies them, resulting in a bolder version of the classic, noted Veronique Gabai-Pinski, senior vice president and general manager for Donna Karan Cosmetics at the Estée Lauder Cos., which holds Karan’s fragrance license.
Both offerings feature Moroccan jasmine, lily of the valley, bergamot, sandalwood, amber and musk. As well, both were created by International Flavors and Fragrances, with a great deal of input from Karan. Karyn Khoury, executive vice president, corporate fragrance development worldwide at the Estée Lauder Cos., also played a big part in creating Pure Cashmere.
The creation of the original scent took a, well, unusual route, remembered Patti Cohen, executive vice president of global marketing and communications for Donna Karan. “We sort of did it backwards,” said Cohen with a laugh, noting that the fragrance evolved from the bath and body line that Karan and her late husband, artist Stephan Weiss, launched 12 years ago when the beauty company was still operated under the apparel firm’s umbrella. “Once the products hit the market, I had people stopping me on the street asking me what fragrance I was wearing — and I’d tell them it was a body lotion. Then we started getting letters asking us to turn the ancillaries into a fragrance. So 10 years ago, we did just that.”
Ancillaries still play a major part in the success of Karan’s beauty business, with more than 30 percent of the business said to be done by ancillaries, which include body lotion, shampoo and scented deodorant.
And executives at the Estée Lauder Cos., holders of Karan’s beauty license since 1998, are projecting continued growth for the beauty brand. “Cashmere Mist is timeless — we have had nothing but consistent and sustained growth, and there is future growth to be had,” said Carol Russo, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Aramis and Designer Fragrances. “It is a consistent, quiet classic fragrance, and a well-marketed brand that has consistently maximized strategic initiatives.” Sources estimate that Donna Karan Cosmetics does upward of $50 million at retail yearly.
In addition to the Pure Cashmere spray, which will be a permanent addition and retail for $55 for 1.7 oz., the firm will offer two limited-edition products: a solid perfume pendant, $60 for 0.1 oz., available in the brand’s 1,800 department and specialty stores in the U.S., and a 0.5-oz. perfume, to retail for $195 and be exclusive to Neiman Marcus. A 2.5-oz. body oil spray, $38, will be released in full distribution.
Updated advertising and a twist on traditional packaging will play a big part in the August launch of the products. The fragrance uses the traditional sculptural bottle created by Weiss, but instead of the frosted glass of Cashmere Mist, Pure Cashmere’s bottle is clear. As well, outer packaging for the product is glossy, while the original’s is matte.
Print advertising, breaking in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, features the original ad, well, turned around: the model who has been featured in the ad had her back turned to the camera, but now she faces the camera.
The brand has always been passionate about sampling and plans upward of 135 million blow-ins during this year alone, Russo emphasized. — Julie Naughton
Inter Parfums Adds Nickel
NEW YORK — Inter Parfums Inc.’s Paris-based subsidiary, Inter Parfums SA, has consummated the acquisition of a 64 percent interest in Nickel SA for approximately $6 million in cash.
Founded in 1996, Nickel produces and sells a complete line of high-end skin care products for men. Nickel’s products are sold in 500 prestige department and specialty stores in France, 900 outlets in the remainder of Western Europe and in 300 department and specialty store doors in the U.S., as well as through men’s spas in Paris, New York, and San Francisco. For the 12 months ended March 2004, Nickel’s sales were nearly $6 million, a 50 percent rise over the previous year.