Last Updated Apr 27, 2010 3:21 PM EDT
Avon's (AVP) been stepping up its efforts to collaborate with all manner of celebrities recently, inking deals with the likes of Zoe Saldana and Fergie of hip-hop's Black Eyed Peas to create fragrances. But for its next act, Avon's new Mark brand -- which the company insists on rendering as "mark." (period included) -- is in the spotlight for its newly launched partnership with Brazilian accessories designer Carlos Falchi. It's a strategic strike that may offer both designer and global brand better returns than the recent partnership between Falchi and Target (TGT).
Falchi's no slouch in the handbag and accessories world. A 30-year veteran and master leathersmith, his purses have swung from the wrists and shoulders of Tina Turner, Madonna and Cher among others. He's also no stranger to careful product placement and has seen his designs appear in such blockbuster films as My Big Fat Greek Wedding and HBO's ever-popular Sex and the City. Still, such placement doesn't guarantee widespread distribution, so Falchi turned to Target, that master of bringing haute designs to the masses. That was last November and while the prices were not quite as "unbelievably low-priced" for a high end designer (between $30- $50), Target's still sitting on Falchi inventory which -- even with serious markdowns -- does not appear to be moving.
An Avon/Mark partnership is a better bet because it doesn't just focus on handbags. Avon's number two trend brand taps the designer's array of experience with jewelry and textiles as well as the beach culture of his native Brazil to create a limited collection of pieces. Two bikinis, a cover-up, sun hat, sandals, earrings, two bags, lip balm (with SPF!) a couple fragrances and bronzing powders. That's it.
In keeping with the beach theme, any and all items would all fit nicely into that $40 shiny tote (which is the most expensive of the bunch). The pricing is budget-friendly with the makeup just right for companion impulse buys (think buy the sandals, grab a lip balm).
Falchi still gets to peddle his bags, a young global fashionista can buy into his brand at an affordable price, mark. gets designer cred by association, and Avon is happy. I have to believe that Avon Product's chief Andrea Jung is doing a little samba behind her desk right now.
Image via Avon's shop.meetmark.com