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It’s also a way to ease Bieber’s young fans into the fragrance category. The promise of a Bieber-annointed scent is enough to prompt his followers to shed their Silly Bandz — which, incidentally, are available in Justin Bieber shapes — for good. The fragrance collection includes four designs: Icon, Energy, Tour and Web. They are priced at $10 each, and are meant to encourage girls — and boys — “to stack, mix and match, trade and take the scent on the go,” said Ferrara. “Fragrance will be as simple as switching from one dog tag to another.”
The scent has top notes of bergamot, lychee and pomegranate, a heartof cedar glimmers and a drydown of musk.
Wal-Mart, in partnership with Universal’s merchandising division Bravado, plans to stock the wristbands and dog tags in a dedicated display of Justin Bieber-themed goods for the holiday selling season. Etoile plans to expand the scented accessories to additional retailers, including specialty stores, next year. A traditional fragrance juice is likely at some point and Etoile hopes to be the licensee for that project as well, but a deal has not been signed.
“There couldn’t be more collaboration or support from Justin’s team,” said Ferrara, who attended two of Bieber’s concerts over the summer. At one show in Memphis, Ferrara spent nearly three hours with the pop star, even pulling aside groups of Bieber’s fans for impromptu focus groups with Braun.
“It was a great window for me to see a young artist rising,” said Ferrara.
The executive would not comment on sales projections for the fragrance, but industry sources said Bieber could power the new company’s revenue to $75 million within the first year.
Ferrara founded Etoile (or “star” in French) with Richard Blanch, who serves as chairman. Jerry Mastellon, who co-founded the cosmetics company Le Métier de Beauté with Blanch, serves as the executive vice president of operations of Etoile. The company plans to leverage Universal’s star stable, but will look outside the music world, as well, for celebrities to potentially sign, most likely to traditional fragrance licensing deals based on royalties.
Etoile plans to reveal its next celebrity deal within the next three or four months, said Ferrara.
Marketing efforts for Beiber’s My World collection will mirror the young heartthrob’s virtual path to stardom. In addition to leveraging Bieber’s digital and social media following, Etoile plans to shadow the pop star as he promotes his recently released book, “First Step 2 Forever: My Story,” doling out samples at book signings and upcoming talk and radio show appearances.
“Scooter decided to make Justin a viral phenomenon. We will take full advantage of this and build on his success,” said Ferrara, noting that the singer’s tweets — often up to a dozen a day — are followed by more than 5.7 million “Bieber Beliebers.”
But even for this 16-year-old YouTube sensation, there’s a first time for everything. On Friday evening, the night of the interview with WWD, Bieber tweeted, “I’m doing an interview with this lady over the computer. Kinda weird. But, she is cool.”