Margherita Missoni with Andrew Jennings

The Estee Lauder Cos. and Saks Fifth Avenue feted the launch of Missoni's signature scent during a soiree at the retailer's flagship here last week.

Saks, Lauder Celebrate Missoni Launch
NEW YORK — The Estée Lauder Cos. and Saks Fifth Avenue feted the launch of Missoni’s signature scent during a soiree at the retailer’s flagship here last week.

The scent began rolling out this month to 300 specialty stores in the U.S.

The official launch attracted a crowd of more than 150 people to Saks, including boldface names such as Olivia Chantecaille and Genevieve Jones, executives from both Lauder and Saks and Margherita Missoni, the face of the fragrance.

“When I saw the windows of Saks, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, it’s really happening,'” said Missoni, who is also the scent’s spokeswoman.

“The [Missoni] brand is very synergistic with Saks and appeals to our core customer,” said Andrew Jennings, president and chief operating officer of Saks. “It’ll be a great introduction for people who try the fragrance to go and explore the ready-to-wear. [Margherita] Missoni is young in spirit and represents the ready-to-wear collection perfectly.”

Lauder executives in attendance included Leonard Lauder, chairman; William Lauder, president and chief executive officer; Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, group president, and Fabrice Weber, president of Aramis and Designer Fragrances — the Lauder division that’s handling the Missoni scent.

Margherita Missoni noted she fell in love with cosmetics when, at age four, her mother presented her with her first Annick Goutal baby perfume. “I even had a collection of miniatures,” she said. “I remember when my brother would open them all and empty them. It would be a disaster, and there would be major trauma.”

She noted she most enjoyed participating in the creation of the Missoni fragrance. “I thought of my mom’s amber perfume, which she always wore when I was a child; the gardens at my grandmother’s country home, and, of course, chocolate.”

While Missoni is unsure of what’s next in line with Lauder, she said she hopes to develop a second fragrance and possibly a color cosmetics line.
Michelle Edgar

Douglas Group Sales Up 10%
BERLIN — Douglas Group sales increased 10.6 percent to 1.3 billion euros, or $1.56 billion at average exchange, in the first five months ended Feb. 28, thanks to a positive Christmas season, while the group’s Perfumeries sales rose 13.5 percent, the firm said at its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday.

This story first appeared in the March 16, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The group pointed out these gains do not reflect its acquisition last July of 150 Elytis perfumeries in France. It further noted that sales from Douglas Spain and Douglas Portugal were only first fully consolidated in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

On a like-for-like basis, group sales rose 2.1 percent. The Douglas Group also includes bookstores, jewelry stores, men’s and women’s fashion retailers and confectionery shops.

Based on the five-month figures, Douglas chief executive officer Henning Kreke reaffirmed the Group’s fiscal 2005-2006 forecast made in January, which called for sales growth of 6 to 8 percent over the previous year. Results from ordinary business activities are expected to rise to between 125 million and 127 million euros, or $150.6 million and $153 million, at current exchange rates.

In addition to expanding internationally, Douglas also is building up its “premium concept” stores. Earlier this month, Douglas acquired the two Perfumerie Schnitzler doors in Düsseldorf, which will carry both the Douglas and Schnitzler names.

Owner Frank Schnitzler, considered one of Germany’s most influential prestige beauty retailers, will serve as a special adviser to Douglas on its premium project. There are currently 11 Douglas premium doors in Germany, which offer a more specialized range of prestige and niche brands, and 30 are expected to be in operation by the end of the year.
Melissa Drier

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