Through a new partnership with Estee Lauder, the handbag manufacturer is entering the beauty business. Coach is adding a new branded scent to its accessory lineup, and may eventually offer a broader range of beauty products and cosmetics.
For Estee Lauder, this is just one in a number of branded development deals struck in recent years. It created Sean John Unforgivable for Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, and Donald Trump: The Fragrance for the ubiquitous Trump.
The new fragrance, due out next spring, will launch in Coach stores and on the Coach Web site. Coach Chairman and CEO Lew Frankfort said fragrance has been the most requested addition to the brand, and the company expects it to bring new customers to the Coach franchise.
The new fragrance is being developed through Estee Lauder's BeautyBank division, which it started a few years ago to develop new exclusive sub-brands for Kohl's Department Stores. These include American Beauty, Good Skin and Daisy Fuentes Beauty.
The effort for Coach marks another milestone for a brand that has methodically revamped its image and updated its offerings. Women in their 30s and 40s who remember buying conservative Coach tailored leather handbags and sturdy briefcases are now buying colorful fashion-forward Coach accessories for themselves and their 'tween daughters, who collect them as they would Barbies.
Coach over the past five years has added new items like shoes, jewelry and eyewear. Its sturdy leather classics have been replaced with seasonal items: lighter-weight leather, canvas bags, bright-colored prints, and even satin and rhinestone evening bags. Other handbag makers, such as Dooney & Burke, have followed Coach's lead.
But Coach is a follower in the fragrance game. Specialty retail brands such as Gap, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor added fragrance, home, and bath and body products years ago.