NEW YORK — There’s a new girl in Liz Claiborne’s fragrance family. Her name is Tracy, as in Ellen Tracy.
The venerable apparel brand, acquired by Liz Claiborne Inc. in 2002, has been given a youthful makeover from George Collins Sharp, who has been vice president of design for the apparel label since April 2005 — and now the Tracy fragrance brand is following suit.
Claiborne is clearly looking for a new beginning. “It was apparent to us [in beauty] after George Sharp was brought on board that there was a real opportunity to refresh the beauty brand,” said Art Spiro, president of Liz Claiborne Cosmetics, who plans to start rolling out the new juice in late April. Sharp — who replaced Linda Allard, who retired in 2003 after 41 years as the creative force behind Ellen Tracy apparel — was charged with freshening the brand and drawing in a younger consumer, exactly what the brand is planning with the new Ellen Tracy scent, said Spiro.
The Ellen Tracy scents for years were distributed in the U.S. by Cosmopolitan Cosmetics, now called Procter & Gamble Prestige Beauty. In 2005, P&G returned the license to Claiborne, and throughout last year, the old inventory was liquidated. Claiborne executives then turned their attention to overhauling the scent brand from top to bottom — from new juices to new advertising visuals.
The result: a new women’s juice that Spiro calls “modern and elegant.”
Tracy is characterized as a creamy, soft floral, noted Sue Hochman, vice president of sales. The scent’s top notes are of cassis, peony and plum blossom; its heart is of rose essence, violet woods and iris flower, and its drydown is of almond milk, vanilla, white amber and sandalwood. The juice was developed by Firmenich’s Jean-Claude Delville and Richard Herpin.
The Tracy fragrance lineup, which enters U.S. department stores in April, will include eaux de parfum in two sizes, 1.3 oz. for $50 and 2.5 oz. for $65, and two ancillaries, a 6.7-oz. body lotion for $38 and a 6.7-oz. shower gel for $30.
The sleek metallic bottle has touches of pink and black, and outer packaging is in shades of silver, pink and black. Tracy’s packaging was designed by Paul McLaughlin.
As with many of the brand’s scents, Spiro was reluctant to put an age limit on the fragrance’s consumer. “The brand is more about a psychographic than a demographic,” said Spiro. “She could be 25, or 65.”
Tracy by Ellen Tracy will be sold in about 1,500 U.S. department store doors. National advertising, which breaks in May fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, is a visual of model Erin O’Connor, which was shot as part of the brand’s apparel advertising campaign. “It made a lot of sense. Because the apparel and fragrance brands are using the same model and images from the same shoot, there is a cohesive feeling to the campaign,” said Spiro. The advertising will include LiquaTouch samples.
While Claiborne executives declined to discuss sales projections or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Tracy would do about $25 million at retail in its first year on counter. Sources estimated that Claiborne executives would spend upward of $5 million on advertising and promotion.
In addition to the new Ellen Tracy scent, Claiborne plans to add a cool factor to its Curve master brand in April — Curve Chill, a new flanker duo. The men’s version, developed by Laurent Le Guernec, Jean-Marc Chaillan, Loc Dong and Pascal Gaurin of International Flavors and Fragrances, is characterized as a woody fougere. Its top notes are of bergamot, lime zest and aldehyde; its heart is of coriander, violet, white pepper and green tea, and its drydown is of cardamom, vetiver, sandalwood and musk. Two stockkeeping units will be marketed: a 4.2-oz. cologne spray for $49.50 and a 4.2-oz. cooling skin soother for $30.
Its women’s counterpart, Curve Chill for Her, was concocted by Lauren Le Guernec, Loc Don and Jean-Marc Chaillan of IFF, and has top notes of crystallized ginger, frosted citrus and green tea; a heart of freesia, peony and sweet pea, and a drydown of cedarwood, musk and vetiver. Two sku’s will be introduced: a 3.4-oz. eau de toilette spray, $49.50, and a 6.7-oz. cooling body lotion, $30. The primary age target for both Curve flankers is 18- to 24-year-olds.
National advertising for both Curves will begin appearing in fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines in May.