Pictured from left to right: Jean-Marc Plisson, CEO, Fresh Inc.; Terry Darland, President, LVMH Beauty; Nicholas Munafo, President, LVMH Fragrance Brands & Acqua Di Parma. Photo by Patricia Willis.
Monday evening brought together key leaders from LVMH’s beauty executive team and the ensuing conversation was rich in knowledge regarding the Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy and Fresh beauty brands. Here, several points that emerged during the CEW panel “LVMH: Defining The Luxury Landscape.”
1. In mid-2000, in order to realize growth, Dior needed to retrench, reposition and fix its image. “We had to go back into specialty stores because believe it or not we had basically been thrown out of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. We renamed our beauty advisors ‘beauty stylists’, gave them much more training, moved to an event-based platform with Dior Show artistry and did it the old fashioned way—building ourselves one client at a time…Today Dior J’adore is the number-two selling fragrance worldwide.” – Terry Darland, President, LVMH Beauty
2. Givenchy is in the process of reinventing itself in three ways: product, distribution and promotion. “Our colleagues in France are working hand-in-hand with couture to come out with great [beauty] products that resonate with the woman who would appreciate a Givenchy handbag. In terms of distribution, Givenchy [fragrance] belongs in Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Saks and Nordstrom and is back there. The third part is that the brand has cut way from sets, which is basically putting your product on sale, and has cut back on [gift with purchase], and has put these monies into media to tell the message.” – Nicholas Munafo, President, LVMH Fragrance Brands & Acqua Di Parma
3. Even though LVMH owns Sephora (which sells the Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy fragrance and Fresh brands) no favoritism is shown to their products in-store. “We are on a fair and complete equal basis as any other brand. [Sephora] looks at brands in North America through the eyes of the consumer and not through the family [of brands LVMH owns.] Their perspective is always consumer driven which helps us develop our brands. They give us insight on trendsetters. We earn every step of the way like any other brand at Sephora,” said Fresh CEO Jen-Marc Plisson.
4. LVMH beauty executives are cautiously optimistic on holiday, which has six fewer shopping days this year. “It will be a challenging Holiday but we are in a good position with fragrance, inventory is in place. It all comes down to those last few days. It’s going to be a nail biter until the last minute.” – Terry Darland.
5. Going global for Fresh has been a three-year journey, and it’s an ongoing one. “The selection of the partner is a critical piece, you can’t be friends with everybody. As a little brand I say to the team ‘let’s not talk about what we are going to do, let’s talk about what we are not going to do.’ We decided we will do very well in the U.S. and Asia and we will put all energy and time there.” – Jean-Marc Plisson