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Kenneth Cole to Launch Mankind Hero

The men’s fragrance will be available in store and online in April.

Kenneth Cole is giving a whole new meaning to the term hero fragrance.

Shipping into department stores, Kenneth Cole stores and available online next month is Mankind Hero, the latest in the franchise from Kenneth Cole Productions and Parlux Ltd. The fragrance celebrates everyday heroes.

“Mankind Hero embodies the essence of the Kenneth Cole brand,” said Kenneth Cole, chairman and chief creative officer of Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. “The concept of a hero can be as simple as the everyday individuals who care about their communities and each other; they don’t let where they have come from, or the adversity they have faced, define their potential.”

Industry sources expect the concept will resonate with consumers who have a man they want to honor and could achieve sales as high as $10 million — rivaling the original Mankind.

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Acknowledging that men are shopping for fragrance in new ways, Parlux president Don Loftus said the campaign and fragrance are tailored for the fresh thinking. “Men are changing. While it has been said for years that more and more men were buying their own fragrance instead of what someone gave them, we’ve now observed that’s true more often than not today. They are approaching counters asking for education and taking a bigger interest in grooming,” he said.

The result is an uptick in men’s fragrances despite a challenging overall retail environment. Overall prestige fragrances expanded 4 percent last year according to NPD Group.

“Our men’s business is on fire,” he added. “Women have known about fragrance for years — from the time they are little girls. For men, making these decisions is new and they are learning about concepts such as layering.”

He also noted an overall movement for men to show emotions more freely and that dovetails with the hero positioning. To convey the message, the advertising campaign features model John Pearson and his son Cooper — reflecting that for many boys, their first inspiration is their dad. The digital platform will include Kenneth Cole discussing what a hero means to him.

The offer ranges from a travel size priced at $22 to a 3.4-oz. eau de toilette for $76. There is also a gift set with a 3.4 eau de toilette, a shave balm and hair and body wash for $80 which comes with a personalized keepsake box to let the recipient know they are the giver’s hero. “Everyone has a hero to thank,” Loftus said.

The fragrance notes also reflect the desire to be distinctive. “Me too’s rarely work. You need something memorable,” said Loftus adding the fresh mountain blend evokes the feeling of breathing in at the top of a mountain.