Now that Edward Bess has outfitted women's wardrobes for the lips, he's turning his attentions to the eyes with a new collection called Private Eye.
The kit — a $200 collection of five hand-pressed eye shadows and two shades of lengthening mascara in a sleek black keepsake box and pouch — will make its debut at Bergdorf Goodman on Sept. 29.
The precocious Southerner — Bess, a native of Charleston, S.C., is just 21 — launched Lip Wardrobe, a $350 array of 10 lipsticks and five glosses designed in timeless shades such as nude to deep red, at Bergdorf Goodman last fall.
Eyes were the logical next step, said Bess. "They're the two main features of a woman."
But the eyes will be taking their cues from the classic beauties: "I'm against trendy," said Bess, who became interested in the beauty business as an intern at Jeffrey New York. "These are the timeless, neutral shades that a woman can wear today or 10 years from today and look beautiful. They are designed to give a sense of luxury and glamour." The mascaras are black and brown, and the eye shadows range in shade from wheat to chocolate.
Bergdorf Goodman is the brand's sole door and that's not changing anytime soon, said Bess.
"Our customer loves the fact that Edward's products are exclusive to us," said Ed Burstell, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of beauty, jewelry and accessories for Bergdorf Goodman. "And Edward spends a huge amount of time in the store, giving one-on-one contact and attention to our customers — which is perfect for us. The products are classic, and a great addition to every woman's makeup wardrobe. We already have a waiting list for Private Eye, and we also had one for Lip Wardrobe. The response, frankly, has been phenomenal."
While Bess and Burstell declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that Private Eye could do $3 million at retail in its first year on counter.
Bess' next project? "Bronzers," he said. "That and highlighting products are next on the agenda, all to reinforce my vision — feminine, but classic."
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