J.Peterman Offers 'Titantic' Replica

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Tonight, millions of Oscars viewers will see a necklace like the one actress Kate Winslet wore in "Titanic" around the neck of Celine Dion. This morning, more than a million prospective customers will find a picture of it in their mailboxes.

In its first single-item, direct-to-consumer mailer, the J. Peterman Co., Lexington, KY, is offering replicas of the necklace in a mailer sent to people from outside lists and its own housefile. The necklace, a J. Peterman exclusive, also is being offered in a blow-in in the company's spring catalog, which also hit mailboxes today.

"As part of our ongoing relationship with 20th Century Fox and Titanic to sells props and costumes, we also have an exclusive arrangement to reproduce props," said Arnie Cohen, president and chief operating officer of J. Peterman.

The J. Peterman necklace, being offered for $198, was cast from the original prop worn in the movie and recreated by a leading costume jeweler, he said.

Incidentally, the royal jeweler, Asprey, made the necklace worn by Dion from a 171-carat heart-shape sapphire surrounded by 36 carats of diamonds. It was was sold this weekend in a charity auction to raise funds for Princess Diana's charities. Asprey, London, also made the original necklace for the movie from cubic zirconia

In an added publicity boost, the J. Peterman offering also will be announced on this morning's "Today" show, which is being broadcast from Los Angeles in preparation for the Oscars.

Although single-piece mailers are unusual for catalogers, Cohen noted that the exclusivity and timeliness of the offering, coupled with the popularity of the movie, made the project difficult to pass up.

"If you're a student of the industry, you know that jewelry has a high consumer response," Cohen said. "The item has high visibility, it's an exclusive. It's not only wearable, it's a collectible, and with the coverage and the Oscars, it seemed we really had to go ahead with it."

The J. Peterman Co. began offering "Titanic" props and costumes in its holiday Gift Book, which dropped in the beginning of December before the movie came out. The company continued to offer more "Titanic" products in a catalog dropped in early March.

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