Frederick’s Turns to Jessica Simpson
This story first appeared in the July 7, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
LOS ANGELES — As part of its successful makeover since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002, Frederick’s of Hollywood will introduce Jessica Simpson’s cosmetic brand Dessert Beauty to 150 in-store shops by fall.
The Dessert Beauty Sweet Shops, 20 of which will roll out this month in key markets, will feature imagery of the brand’s co-creator, Simpson, along with a pink satin and tufted silk boudoir theme. The entire 41-piece collection, including a new three-piece group called Taste, will sell in the stores, as well as through Frederick’s 30 million-circulation catalogue and Web site, which has over one million subscribers.
“We’re both small companies with big identities, so we work well together,” said Dessert co-creator Randi Shinder. “Plus, I’ve always likened Dessert to lingerie for the senses.”
Linda LoRe, president and chief executive officer of Frederick’s, who was previously president and ceo of Giorgio Beverly Hills for 11 years, knows a thing or two about the cosmetics business.
“We realized that Frederick’s is much more of a lifestyle brand than a lingerie brand,” she said. “To that end, we offer our customers products in the beauty arena because the woman who wears our lingerie also buys beauty products.”
Dessert Beauty, which has been sold at Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Holt Renfrew stores since April, has already surpassed the $20 million mark in sales, with first-year projections of $30 million. The average retail price point for items is $35.
The line joins Frederick’s signature line of fragrance, body lotion and bath gel, as well as its Boudoir Café line of cosmetics unveiled last November.
The 60-year-old Frederick’s, a privately held company, reported its biggest sales to date, with a 70 percent increase over last year, which was 40 percent over 2002, said LoRe, who would not give an annual sales volume. The lingerie specialist generates yearly revenues in excess of $200 million, according to industry estimates.
The synergy apparently works both ways. Shinder said plans include designing a line of Dessert lingerie and apparel. In response, LoRe would only say, “We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities.” — Marcy Medina
Annick Goutal Takeover
NEW YORK — Annick Goutal Parfums in the U.S. is changing hands. Annick Goutal, the perfume division of the Paris-based Taittinger Group, has announced that as of July 1, Gary Farn Ltd. took over sales and marketing operations for the brand’s U.S. fragrance business. It had previously been handled by Fragrances Exclusive Inc., which had managed the business since July 2001.
Alison Farn, president of Gary Farn Ltd., which also distributes scents from Ferragamo, Ungaro, Lolita Lempicka and Féraud in the U.S., noted that “by adding Annick Goutal, we’re now a competitive player in the lifestyle arena, which is becoming increasingly important in upscale distribution.” As far as sales, Farn predicts that the brand could do as much as $8 million at retail in the 12 months beginning July 1, 2004. — Kristin Finn
Natexis Buys Stake
PARIS — Natexis Private Equity has taken a stake in Dessange International, making it the French hair care giant’s second-largest shareholder after the Dessange family.
Dessange International — which includes salon chains Dessange, Camille Albane and Frederic Moreno, plus numerous product brands — is now 61 percent held by the Dessanges, 20 percent by Natexis Private Equity and 19 percent by other minority shareholders. Financial terms of Natexis’ stake were not disclosed.
Dessange International said in a statement the operation has helped the company maintain its independence and also raise funds to back growth. Dessange International also said it issued convertible bonds reserved for Natexis Private Equity.
Dessange, which generated 45 percent of its total business outside of France, has salons in 39 countries. Domestically, Dessange hopes to raise its salon door count to 1,000 in three to four years, versus the 519 it has today. — Jennifer Weil