Key looks of the season? Check. The latest It bags and shoes lining your walk-in wardrobe? Double check. But if you think you can get away with just a fabulous outfit without putting your best face forward, think again.
According to top American designer Marc Jacobs, wearing make-up is as important an accessory as shoes or bags. Which is why it came as no surprise that, in the run-up of his Spring/Summer 2014 runway show last year, the 51-year-old announced the launch of his new line, Marc Jacobs Beauty.
Done in collaboration with beauty giant Sephora, the line offers more than 140 products ranging from concealers and foundations, to eyeshadows and lipsticks. In Singapore, the collection is available at Sephora stores across the island.
But Jacobs is not the only one. In the last two years, Burberry, Michael Kors and Tom Ford have jumped on the bandwagon by adding cosmetics collections to their repertoire. They join a growing line-up of designer beauty lines that includes Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent. Just last month, Italian fashion label Gucci announced its plans to launch the Gucci Cosmetics range in September.
In an exclusive interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Gucci’s Creative Director Frida Giannini says the idea for launching a make-up line emerged four years ago. “I’ve always wanted to do a cosmetics line at Gucci,” she adds. “I was obsessed with finding the right palette and was [finally] inspired by the photos of style icons such as Lauren Hutton, Jerry Hall, Jane Birkin and Veruschka.”
Indeed, the competition to stamp an imprint of couture on mass market cosmetics has gotten intense. For designers, expanding into beauty simply makes good business sense.
Last year, the NPD Group, an American company that tracks retail sales and market trends in the US, reported that make-up generates the second-highest category increase after skincare, making US$10.27 billion. Luxury cosmetics brands have also been posting strong growth in recent years. L’Oréal, for instance, has reported a 7.7 percent increase in 2013.
It is no surprise then that fashion designers are looking to jump on this trend. Having a make-up line will not only create brand awareness but also drive consumer back to the brand through business diversification.
Speaking to US news network CNBC, Allure magazine’s editor-in-chief Linda Wells explains: “When you have these big runway shows, they get a lot of attention and make-up now becomes a part of the whole imagery and the whole branding.”
Agreeing, brand consultant Michelle Chong believes diversification is a tried and tested corporate strategy to increase sales volume from new products and new markets.The director of The Largest Continent, a homegrown branding firm, explains: “It adds dimensions to the brand identity and fleshes out a more personal and emotional vision of the brand’s image.”
Take lip colour, for example. Close-up pictures of models with luscious lips and in sensual shoots will indeed evoke an emotional response from customers. It creates a new facet to the luxury market similar to what perfumes used to do for fashion brands.
As the designer Tom Ford puts it: “Beauty comes from revealing your most glamorous and inspirational self. It is about amplifying your individuality and showing the world who you are — with maximum impact.”
Launched in 2011, the Make-up and Skin Treatments line gives glamorous colour on a foundation of flawless features and radiant skin. It is the brand’s strong point of view that make-up is the most powerful tool for transformation — whether muted and elegant or unabashedly bold. It amplifies a woman’s beauty.
• Tom Ford Traceless Powder Foundation
Featuring the Tom Ford Infusing Complex plus an innovative, non-drying technology, it achieves a flawless complexion and softens fine lines. Available in eight shades.
• Tom Ford Lip Color
Available in 18 rich colours that are Tom Ford’s modern ideals of classic lip shades. Exotic Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil create a creamy texture and smooth application.
Launched in 2010, Burberry Beauty cosmetics line is inspired by the British heritage brand’s iconic outerwear and patterns. In keeping with this inspiration, the make-up’s outer cartons mimic its famous trench coat fabric, while the packaging is imprinted with the luxury label’s signature plaid.
• Fresh Glow BB Cream
Enriched with the line’s signature blend of rosehip, tea and lavender extracts, the lightweight formula helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun, while moisturising extracts help enhance hydration.
Launched in 2013, the collection spreads across 17 categories and offers a grand total of 147 products, including brushes and nail lacquers. Each product is sleekly packaged in a high-shine black lacquer finish, with the inspiration for the design coming from the designer’s lacquered art deco Jean Dunand coffee table.
• Style Eye-Con No 7 Plush Eyeshadow Palette in “The Siren”
This summer, Marc Jacobs debuts seven new shades that capture the essence of the modern siren in one sleek case. Play with gleaming metallics in bronze and gold, and lustrous shimmers in rusted red, white pearl, iridescent black teal, cobalt and seafoam. Available in a limited edition collector’s palette.
• Highliner Gel Crayon
Make a bold statement with nine new shades of the line’s quintessential eyeliner. Discover the revolutionary formula of the only gel pot liner in a crayon — richly pigmented with extraordinary waterproof performance.