It’s a fresh start for Coach’s fragrance business.
The brand will introduce its first scent under license with Interparfums, Coach Eau de Parfum, in September. The launch comes on the heels of the discontinuation of Coach’s previous fragrance collection, developed with The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., last July.
“This is very different [from the previous Coach fragrances] — from the scent to the design of the bottle,” said Philippe Benacin, chief executive officer of Inter Parfums SA.
The juice is a mix of sparkling raspberry, Turkish roses and suede musk, which Benacin described as “hot floral and fruity.” In mid-September it will enter 3,000 U.S. doors, including Macy’s and Ulta, and will be available for purchase online, including macys.com and ulta.com. Other retailers include Sephora, Dillard’s and Belk stores.
In the U.S., a 1-ounce bottle will retail for $55, a 1.7-ounce bottle for $75 and a 3-ounce bottle for $95. A 30-ml. bottle will be available in Asian, Russian and German markets, as well as in travel retail. An eau de toilette version of the fragrance, designed for the Asian market and described by Benacin as “more floral, less hot,” will launch in Singapore, Taiwan and Korea in September and roll out to Japan and Hong Kong by January 2017.
Benacin noted the fragrance will be available in 20,000 doors worldwide by the end of 2017, but the U.S. remains a major market for Coach’s fashion business — at this point in 2016, the U.S. accounts for 50 percent of the brand’s global turnover, Benacin said — and the brand is expectant the fragrance will sell well here.
An advertising campaign, shot by Steven Meisel — he also shoots the Coach fashion campaigns — and inspired by the spirit of New York, will feature 19-year-old actress Chloë Grace Moretz. Marketing efforts will be focused on television spots, the Internet and social media, as well as select print advertising in magazines. Industry sources cite the promotion budget is set at $15 million dollars.
Despite the fresh young face depicted in its advertising campaigns, Benacin and Coach executive creative director Stuart Vevers maintain Coach Eau de Parfum is not an attempt by the brand to attract a Millennial audience, which has been a recurring theme among this year’s fragrance launches, from Stella McCartney Pop to Ralph Lauren Tender Romance.
“We don’t segment by age in fragrance — if you like Coach or Dior or Vuitton it’s not because you are 18 or 25 or 36, it is because you like the style of the brand,” Benacin said.
Instead, Coach is looking to further ingrain its perception with consumers as a modern and playful affordable luxury brand.
“It’s definitely youthful, but the attitude is modern,” Vevers said of the scent. “I’m hoping this starts to reinforce our point-of-view that has become more and more clear over the past two years…for sure the fragrance has been completely in-sync with what we’re doing in the transformation of the brand. Coach is about shared references and shared aesthetics, rather than sharing that you’ve just spent a load of money on a bag. It’s a fresh take on luxury.”
The bottle invokes the brand’s design heritage, featuring the classic Coach turn lock at the cap — a set of instructions is printed on the inside flap of the outer packaging for any confused customers — along with the iconic Coach bag tags that were introduced in the Seventies, tied around the neck of the bottle.
“We wanted to reference the real soul of the brand, something we can feel proud of in three, five, 10 years,” Vevers said of the inspiration behind the packaging.
Industry sources estimate Coach the Fragrance will generate $18 million to $19 million dollars in its first year at retail in the U.S. and $30 to $35 million in its first four months at global retail. By the end of 2017, $60 to $70 million dollars are projected to be earned at global retail.
Over the past few years, Coach has taken steps to reinvent its reputation with consumers as more than just a leather bag brand. The installment of Vevers as creative director three years ago has led to a clothing line with presentations at New York Fashion Week, new bag designs consisting of cheeky riffs on classic styles updated with edgy hardware, bold colors and graphic embellishments, along with fresh advertising campaigns honing in on the brand’s New York roots.
“[Fragrance] is an important step because this isn’t what people know Coach for,” Vevers said. “This is an opportunity to show them how to take the brand beyond what we’re most known for, which is leather goods.”