WWD Digital Daily
Frances Valentine’s Fragrance Foray
The lifestyle brand is forging its next frontier.
Apparel, home and accessories brand Frances Valentine is claiming its next category.
Called Patio, the brand's inaugural fragrance retails for $148 for a 100-ml. bottle and blends notes of rose, cyclamen, amber and cashmeran, seeking to evoke the feeling of summertime.
“If you close your eyes and think about what that first day of summer smells like when it hits, for me that's honeysuckle, hedgerow and fresh-cut grass,” said Elyce Arons, who cofounded Frances Valentine in 2016 with her longtime friend, the late Kate Spade.
The fragrance debuts direct-toconsumer and will enter the brand's seven stand-alone stores, including a soon-to-beopened outpost in Alexandria, Virginia. The brand estimates Patio could do $200,000 in first-year retail sales.
“I have always felt that we could be the next American lifestyle brand,” said Arons, who previously helped developed fragrances at Kate Spade and felt the category would be a natural fit for Frances Valentine.
“Initially, we thought, ‘Oh, let's do a hand cream and candle with it, too,' but I wanted this fragrance to stand out on its own,” said Arons, who also serves as the brand's chief executive officer. Eventually though, she plans for the brand's fledgling beauty arm to include the mentioned products and more.
“The other beauty products that people have asked us for are lipstick and nail polish, and so those are possibly in our future as well,” said Arons, for whom consumer input plays an integral role in product development. “Every time
I'm at a trunk show or a store opening, I come home with a notebook full of things consumers have requested from us.”
In January, Frances Valentine launched its first denim collection consisting of two styles and, shortly thereafter, debuted its spring “Occasions” formalwear collection. Later this summer, the brand will play in bedding for the first time with an Annie Selkie collaboration.
“We started out as an accessories brands making handbags and shoes, and we've been able to expand into these other product categories because our customers have given us permission to,” said Arons in a phone interview with WWD, whilst on her first beach trip of the year in Sag Harbor, New York — fitting.