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Live from New York: Companies Pursue New Business

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: January 9, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

Bloomingdale’s CEO Michael Gould (center, with scissors), joins Nicky Kinnaird (to his right), founder and creative director of Space NK, in cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony for the new Space NK Apothecary at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street in New York City.

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Gemini Cosmetics, the fragrance licensing company that created the Izod and Tommy Bahama fragrance brands, has launched a new division under the aegis of Zinger International Group. Frank Fazzinga Jr., chairman and CEO of Gemini Cosmetics, will serve in the same roles at Zinger. The holding company—which includes Grace Beauty, a distributor of fragrance brands previously sold at department stores and now moving into mass distribution, and the recently launched Icon business, which will serve to develop new and existing mass and prestige brands, intends to go beyond simply licensing.

In an interview with GCI magazine, Dana Kline, newly appointed president of Icon, discussed the venture, explaining how the company will work with brands such as Coty Beauty’s Nautica to develop their retail business. Kline emphasized Icon’s strategic positioning for its new business model: “Icon was created for department stores and specialty stores in the prestige market. The Icon logo is actually the queen chess piece, which has particular significance for the company,” she said. “In chess, the queen is the piece that can move in any direction. This is a business model that we think is right for this time, and we can help develop and distribute in all areas.”

In addition, Kline noted that Icon is further differentiating itself by erasing the lines between sales and marketing by emphasizing service and training and providing complete brand transparency that includes the creation of an Icon Business Report (IBR).

The IBR will provide information on each brand, noting strengths and weaknesses, as well as updates on the state of the economy, direction of the industry and specific sales information by retailer and brand.

“From idea inception to product execution, Icon is offering the programs, strategies and relationship building that will bring new ways to drive our beauty business and make brands more profitable,” Kline said. “Icon has invested in diverse and highly talented people who understand how to execute flawlessly and will help business grow to get to the next level.”

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