According to sources, the company’s sales volume will hit $500 million by the fiscal year that ends June 30, a 29 percent increase from 2015’s revenues. If sales continue on their current trajectory, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brand is expected to hit $1 billion in sales by 2020. The firm is adding $100 million in volume a year and by fiscal 2017, Tom Ford Beauty will have doubled in size since 2014.
“We have a glide path to basically double this business in a very short time,” confirmed John Demsey, executive group president of Estée Lauder Cos., during an interview in his office at the company’s headquarters here. He is careful not to speak on behalf of Ford, who is finishing up his second feature film, “Nocturnal Animals,” which is slated for release this fall (“The only person who can speak for Tom Ford is Tom Ford,” he said with a laugh). The executive also declined to disclose or confirm sales figures.
But he first and foremost credits Ford as the reason for the brand’s success. The designer is equal parts compelling and aspirational, Demsey says, and has managed to build an audience that’s just as much male as it female. “[It’s the] evolution from signature fragrance to full Tom Ford beauty house, and the way that that evolution is taking place is also a big driver of growth. It’s not just singular-category growth, it’s expanding the franchise in existing locations,” Demsey continued. “It’s different than a big designer fragrance — [which has] TV advertising and 30,000 points of sale. It’s truly a luxury play in a full beauty play, and not in the ‘designer-fragrance-promotional-dynamics’ [way] that defines most of the world right now.”
That’s all thanks to two words: Black Orchid. It is Ford’s landmark. He began to build his beauty empire with the scent, which he released in fall 2006 as the anchor of his Signature fragrance collection. In spring 2007, Ford debuted Private Blend, a collection of 12 eau de parfums that were all released simultaneously. This was a departure from the way he started the brand several months earlier, which was focused on the single product Signature scent (also the industry norm). Ford also upped the price point. Each Private Blend cost about twice the price of Black Orchid, starting at $220 and going up to $535 for a 250-ml. size. Today, there are 24 Private Blend fragrances.