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The hip-hop generation has invented a new role for pop stars entering the fragrance business — owner.
This week, Curtis Jackson, known better as 50 Cent, represents the fourth-such deal in two months to spurn the customary licensing route in favor of a rapidly emerging new business model. In return for his direct involvement, Jackson will have significant equity.
His new men’s fragrance, not surprisingly called Power, will be produced and marketed by Lighthouse Beauty, a new company in which the star is a partner. Chris Lighty, chief executive officer of Brand Asset Group and founder of Violator Management, is another partner, as are Howard Sherman of Mod Beauty; Glenn Nussdorf, a major shareholder of Parlux, Perfumania and Quality King Distributors, and Philip Zellner of Product King Marketing, World Source Marketing Group, 111 Design and Edge Display. Power, the first fruit of this unusual partnership, will be released in November at Macy’s (see related story, this page).
Jackson, who confirmed the news first to appear in WWD on June 8, sat down for an exclusive interview Tuesday afternoon at Manhattan club Avenue. “It is a lot more difficult than just allowing someone to put you in front of their product,” he said of the new business model he and his partners have created — a structure that is perhaps the most far-reaching and ambitious of all of the similar deals. “But I think it’s the best possible way for me. Once I package myself and sell it to the public, it’s pretty tough for you to find someone who can be better at being me than I am.”
He added, “I find it so difficult to create a business where they don’t completely utilize me,” he said, mentioning his now-defunct apparel line with Marc Ecko. “I mean, as more than a marketing tool. It will be a success based on that, but if we use the traditional business format and add me to it, we can do great.”