NEW YORK — Coty Inc. has yet another new star in its crowded celebrity firmament: pop star Kylie Minogue.
Minogue, 38, has a broad-based following in Europe and Australia. She began her career at age 11 as an actress on “Skyways,” a drama series in her native Australia, but is now better known as a singer. She released her first single, a remake of the Sixties hit “Locomotion,” in 1987 as her TV series “Neighbours” became the highest-ranked program in the United Kingdom, and released her eponymous first album in July 1988. Her credits include nine albums and several dozen top 20 hits.
Her first women’s fragrance is expected in late fall.
“Kylie has very high awareness and broad appeal — across age groups and genders,” said Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty Inc., in an interview earlier this week. “We’re very proud of our portfolio and have a nice coverage of target users across the spectrum, feel that Kylie will bring in additional users of all ages with her fan base.”
Coty’s portfolio includes more than 35 designer, celebrity and lifestyle scent brands, including the fragrance licenses of David and Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lopez.
Like the Beckhams’ fragrance collection for Coty, Minogue’s scents are not yet slated for U.S. distribution. At launch, in November, Minogue’s line will be available in a handful of global markets, including Australia, Ireland and the U.K. It will roll out to broad distribution in Europe and Asia in spring 2007 and is slated to be carried in perfumery chains, department stores and drugstores. It will be supervised by Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing for Coty Beauty, a division of Coty Inc., who said that while the scent doesn’t have a definite U.S. launch date, it will likely be introduced here at some point.
He added that very targeted U.S. distribution is also being considered for the Beckham fragrance franchise. “The Beckhams have a growing appeal and awareness in selective segments of the U.S.,” said Mormoris.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and both executives refused to discuss them. However, it has been speculated that many of Coty’s celebrity deals are three- to five-year contracts worth between $3 million and $5 million, or $1 million a year, and a royalty of 1 to 2 percent of sales.
Beetz said Minogue’s collection will initially consist of a women’s fragrance and select ancillaries. Beetz declined to reveal whether a men’s fragrance, color cosmetics lineup or skin care collection might be added eventually. He wouldn’t comment on the perfumer, although sources said Firmenich would be producing the scent.
“We believe that Kylie’s fragrance will be one of the top five over the next several years,” said Mormoris. “She appeals to three generations of women and men. She is one of the few celebrities who has maintained a positive outlook and escaped scandal. She has also overcome adversity [she is now in remission from breast cancer, according to sources.]”
When asked about the fragrance’s name and its advertising, Beetz and Mormoris declined to discuss details. However, it’s quite possible that the collection may play on the name awareness the singer has built with her Love, Kylie brand name, which is used for Minogue’s lingerie (introduced in 2003 at Selfridges in the U.K.) and home decor projects — including scented drawer liners and candles, which are available at kylieshop.com, Minogue’s e-commerce site.
Coty has leveraged the power of the Internet in promoting many of its other fragrances, and the Minogue collection is expected to follow that model. The pop star’s own Web site, kylie.com, may also become involved.
As far as her day job, singing, goes, Minogue will resume touring this fall — something she hasn’t done since May 2005.