In partnership with IMG Models and model Lily Aldridge, Inter Parfums Inc., which produces fragrances for brands and retailers like Anna Sui and Guess, launched on Sunday its first direct-to-consumer brand called Lily Aldridge Parfums.
The brand debuted online with one fragrance called Haven, priced at $50. Three more fragrances will follow — one every three months. The brand’s launch marks the beginning of Inter Parfum’s new global DTC division, said Greg Reznik, Inter Parfum managing director of Inter Parfum. Although the business unit does not yet have any other brands under development or a set timeline for its next DTC fragrance release, the division is expected to comprise between 20% and 30% of the company’s total sales in the next five years, he said. In its most recent earnings report on Aug. 5, Inter Parfums reported $166.2 million in net sales for the second quarter of 2019, up 11.3% year over year; in 2018, the company made over $675 million in net sales, according to a year-end earnings report.
“[Lily Aldridge Parfums] is a new chapter because it’s online-only, content-driven and more about the future, rather than the classical way of distributing fragrance through retailers,” he said.
The brand is inspired by Aldridge’s beauty, fashion and travel interests, according to a brand spokesperson, and Haven pays homage to her garden in Nashville, where she resides. Aldridge’s beauty offering is meant to play off of the once-popular celebrity fragrance model by “immersing” customers in Aldridge’s world, said Reznik.
Copy on the site is written from the first-person perspective of Aldridge, but the majority of content the brand has created exists on its Instagram, where it has almost 3,000 followers. It includes video interviews with Aldridge about the development of the fragrances and the sustainability of the brand’s packaging. The idea is to market the brand directly to Aldridge’s more than 5 million Instagram followers.
It may appear risky for a fragrance brand — a sensorial consumer product – to be sold exclusively online. Reznik said that Inter Parfums is confident that it can succeed due to the “maturity” of the e-commerce market in the U.S. Lily Aldridge Parfums is not the only brand to launch online: In 2014, YSL Beauty launched Black Opium as an online exclusive (it is now sold in retailers like Ulta), and indie fragrance brands like Pinrose, Phlur and Skylar have come to market online first before entering various retailers like Sephora. Henry Rose, a clean fragrance brand by actress Michelle Pfeiffer and produced by Batallure Beauty, launched in April and is also sold exclusively online.
Inter Parfums’ subsidiary, Interstellar Brands LLC, developed the e-commerce website and will manage the respective product development, packaging, production, marketing, fulfillment and customer service for the brand. Inter Parfums hopes to learn from Interstellar Brands and Lily Aldridge Parfums what new strategies it should apply to future brands in its new DTC business division — for example, its use of Shopify for e-commerce and the warehousing logistics used, since the fragrance will not be stocked in stores.
“In terms of long-term strategy, this is one of the most important steps we have taken in the past five years,” said Reznik. “We expect the Lily Aldrige Parfums business to grow and take an important part of our sales.”