Donna Karan New York just relaunched its fashion business, and now, the brand is launching a new fragrance collection.
The quartet of eaux de parfum, dubbed the Cashmere Collection, comes to market this month with Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Dillard’s, among others. Each scent is priced at $150.
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It coincides with the relaunch of Donna Karan New York earlier this week, and is the first pillar introduced by licensee Inter Parfums Inc. The brand was previously under the Estée Lauder Cos.
“We decided to coordinate the rollout with the relaunch of Donna Karan womenswear and the reveal of the spring 2024 campaign,” said Jeff Goldfarb, executive vice president of G-III Apparel Group. “Working with [Inter Parfums] to expand our Donna Karan fragrance business helps us to build global visibility, create a broader lifestyle offering, and to increase our touch points with customers as we relaunch the brand.”
The collection plays on the success of Cashmere Mist, among the brand’s bestsellers — but Inter Parfums didn’t want to debut the new collection as flankers.
“We have to protect Cashmere Mist, which is why we called this the Cashmere Collection. We wanted it to have a different positioning,” said Jean Madar, cofounder, chief executive officer and chairman, Inter Parfums Inc. “We want to keep Cashmere Mist pure of fractures. Flankers, for example, are good for business but they dilute the franchise.”
That being said, Cashmere Mist has given Madar tons of equity with consumers to rely on.
“People love Cashmere Mist, and when the bottle is empty, they buy another one. The brand is ideal for marketers like us,” said Madar. “We are pulling a lot of attention to it, we have a full team in department stores covering the counters. The response is there. We honestly don’t have to work that hard.”
Madar added that the Donna Karan business was up 25 percent in 2023. Industry sources estimate the new collection will reach $10 million in retail sales for its first year.
When developing the scents, Madar said the goal was to create a sense of warmth and layering. Cashmere & Wild Fig has notes of black pepper, wild fig, bamboo and cedarwood; Cashmere & Tiare Flower features ashoka flower, bergamot, tiare flower and vetiver; Cashmere & Tunisian Neroli showcases bergamot, neroli and cedarwood; Cashmere & Palo Santo highlights golden peach, labdanum absolute, palo santo and vanilla bean.
“We pushed the envelope in terms of concentration,” Madar said, saying the products are on the more concentrated side for eaux de parfum. “They’re sophisticated, and there’s this idea of layering. The warmth was really important. The idea is not to mix them because each one is so layered.”
He’s also being restrained in terms of distribution. “Donna Karan is an American brand. Ninety percent of our sales are in the U.S., so we are protective of the department store business,” he said. “DKNY is widely distributed in Europe, and together, they make the sixth-largest brand in our portfolio.”
Geographically, he’s eyeing the Middle East, and select markets in Europe. “We’re open, but we have to be successful in America first.”
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