By and  on March 18, 2008

Avon Products, Inc. said it signed a deal with Finnish textile and clothing design company Marimekko to create a color cosmetics collection, marking Marimekko's first foray into the beauty business.

Through the partnership, Marimekko will license its Unikko signature pattern designed by Maija Isola in the Sixties, which has been reinterpreted by Isola's daughter, Kristina Isola, for Avon.

Geralyn Breig, senior vice president and brand president for Avon Products Inc., stated, "We feel confident that our customers will enjoy the merger of Marimekko's energetic designs with the innovation of the Avon Color Brand."

Scheduled to launch globally in October, starting with North America, Europe, Mexico and Asia, followed by the remainder of Latin America in early 2009, the limited edition cosmetics collection will include four color products — an eye shadow, face powder, lip gloss and mascara, in addition to accessories.

— Michelle Edgar

Pür Growth

ATLANTA — Pür Minerals will be available in department stores for the first time this spring.

Dillard's Inc. added the Atlanta-based cosmetics line in its new Ocala, Fla., store, which opened Feb. 20, and plans to roll it out to 40 more Dillard's units by summer.

Ulta carries the line in 239 doors, and will expand it into 73 more units by year's end. Pür Minerals also plans to announce distribution in a Canadian beauty chain retailer later this month. Brick-and-mortar retail is relatively new for Pür Minerals, which put its first product in Ulta stores in 2006.

The Pür Minerals brand launched in 2003, when Jolie Baker, president, began selling the line on The Shopping Channel in Canada. Sales on the channel alone grew to $5 million. ShopNBC added the line in 2006, and the line has expanded internationally to Australian channel TVSN, and will launch on England's Ideal Shopping Direct later this year.

From an original dozen products, the line has grown to 163 stockkeeping units, including a range of pressed mineral foundations, cheek colors, eye shadows, liners, lip color and brushes. Recent skin and body care products include body butter and exfoliators, with more planned for the future.Prices range from $12 for eye shadows to $49.95 for a dual-product 30-day at-home skin care kit.

Baker said the growing popularity of mineral makeup has not altered the brand's original concept — a pressed powder and brush delivery system that eliminates the mess associated with loose powder.

"Mineral makeup is now in the mass retail channels and brands," said Baker, who considers the Bare Escentuals brand her only competition. "We've always done this, and perfected the pressed formula. We've also stressed convenience, with products that have multiple applications, like our original 4-in-1 foundation that is foundation, concealer, powder and sunscreen in one."

From its niche in mineral makeup, the company plans to grow through new skin and body care product introductions and by penetrating more retail stores. Sales for 2007 were $18 million, and are projected at $25 million for 2008, doubling to $50 million in 2009.

With little national advertising, the brand relies on megaevents, such as "Beauty Pür and Simple" makeovers, held in Ulta stores. "We are a brand for women of all ages, all skin types, and it's easy and convenient," said Baker. "We want to be about beauty, pure and simple."

— Georgia Lee

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