Stephen M. Silverman
March 15, 2004 06:08 PM

Britney Spears has a brand new gig: on the board of cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden, Inc., for whom she will now develop her own fragrance line, reports Reuters.

Under the licensing deal announced Friday — financial terms were not disclosed, though the New York Post calls it a multimillion-dollar deal — the 22-year-old pop princess will develop and market her own line of fragrance, skincare and color cosmetics aimed at high-end department stores. Sales are expected to kick off this fall.

Analysts in the cosmetics business consider the marriage risky, given that Arden is best known for appealing to mature women. Its lines include the classic Red Door, as well as Halston, White Shoulders and Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion.

On the other hand, Reuters quotes Ken Harris, a partner at the consumer products and retail consultants firm Cannondale Associates, as calling the move ” a bold statement (and) a very clear signal to other fragrance marketers that they’re getting into the game in a big way. ”

He said it could prove a victory for Arden, “if Britney Spears continues to release No. 1 hits, and if she is able to maintain a sense of composure.” (That last reference may be a dig at her short-lived marriage earlier this year, or, as Reuters calls them, the constant tabloid claims about her partying.)

Spears’s most recent release, “In The Zone,” has sold more than five million copies.

Spears “is a talented, fashionable woman who appeals to a young and international consumer base.” Paul West, president of Elizabeth Arden, said in a statement.

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