Cartier, Ferrari kicking off U.S. accessories collection

Ferrari, the Italian automotive company, and Cartier, Inc., international jeweler, have launched an accessories line in the U.S. under the Ferrari Formula label. The line is expected to bring in $3 million to $4 million in wholesale sales its first season, according to Ralph Destino, president of Cartier, USA.

Under terms of the agreement, Cartier has licensed the Ferrari name for accessories and will oversee product manufacturing. Cartier’s staff in Paris will work with Ferrari to design the line.

The collection, which includes sport watches, sunglasses, leather goods and writing instruments, will make its debut next week at a new in-store boutique at Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York, Destino told a press conference here Wednesday. Officials at the store could not be reached to confirm the arrangement.

Items are being shipped to selected department stores, boutiques, jewelry stores and optical shops throughout the country, where they will be available this fall. However, Ferrari will not be sold through Cartier’s retail shops.

Distribution of the Ferrari sunglasses will be handled by Starline Optical Corp. of Fairfield, N.J. All other Ferrari products will be marketed by Park Lane Associates of Providence, R.I.

The items have an accent on youth and are designed for today’s spunky generation,” Destino said at the conference. He later added that all items have a sporty look, and many are done in Ferrari racing car colors: “Formula gray” and “Ferrari red.”

The watches, for example, which wholesale from $170 to $325, are for “the person who takes off his or her Rolex which on weekends,” according to Mark Bertman, vice president of Park Lane. Watchesinclude three designs — city watches, with water-resistant leather wristbands, also available with a solid gold case; marine watches, with patented silicone rubber wristband, which come with red and yellow designs on the faces, and sport watches with wristbands in gray-tone steel and goldplated interlinks.

Special watches include a diver’s watch, water-resistant to 120 meters, and a chronograph, which gives information on short-lapsed time, speeds and rhythms.

Writing instruments will wholesale from $25 to $42.75, and lighters will wholesale for $27.50.

Leather goods, including travel and desk items, attache cases, handbags and pocket goods totaling 40 items, will sell in the $12.50 to $250 wholesale range. Sunglasses, available in four shapes and in yellow gold and Formula gray colors, will sell for approximately $60 wholesale.

According to Fred Levinger, president of Park Lane, stores selling Ferrari goods will be selected on a franchise basis in specific marketing areas. Park Lane will work closely with Claudio Sguazzini, general manager of Ferrari North America.

Designs have been created in Paris by Cartier staff working with Ferrari, which approves all items.Watches are manufactured in Switzerland, pens and leather goods are made in Italy and lighters are made in Austria.

Ferrari products were actually brought out a year ago in Europe, Destino said, although with only a fraction of its current number of items. Sunglasses and leather goods were not part of the European group, he noted.