Dempsey On Board With Avon

Avon has signed celebrity makeup artist Jillian Dempsey to be its global creative color director.

NEW YORK — Avon has signed celebrity makeup artist Jillian Dempsey to be its global creative color director.

As part of the multiyear contract, which was announced today, Dempsey will work to modernize shade palettes within the company’s core color brand. In addition to creating new eye, lip and face shades, Dempsey will also come up with limited-edition seasonal color collections that are scheduled to launch starting next spring. The deal marks the first time Avon has partnered with a makeup artist. Industry sources speculate the deal is worth between $500,000 and $1 million.

“We wanted a makeup artist to collaborate with us to help elevate the style quotient of the brand,” said Jill Scalamandre, senior vice president of global beauty brands for Avon. “We wanted someone who was not just out there doing movies, but touching a broad array of women while listening to and educating them. She’s reaching out and connecting with women on a consistent basis, and her relationships underscore our commitment to women.”

Dempsey will also work on product development for Avon’s youth-oriented Mark brand, assisting with colors, texture and packaging.

“She will raise the innovation bar [for Mark] and will make sure all the forms, textures and products are right for the young women we are targeting,” said Claudia Poccia, president of Avon U.S. Beauty and global president of Mark.

According to company executives, Avon’s color business exceeds $1 billion.

Dempsey will be featured in Avon brochures globally starting next spring, where she will bring in an educational perspective, according to Scalamandre, and present editorial tips and techniques to customers.

“This is an opportunity for me to globally reach out and touch a lot of women,” said Dempsey. “I can identify with what the Avon brand puts out — it’s about owning your beauty.”

Throughout Dempsey’s 15-year career, she has worked with celebrities including Kirsten Dunst, Kate Winslet and Rachel Weisz. Her experience has ranged from working at a Shu Uemura boutique in Los Angeles in 1989 to being a key makeup artist in film and television. Dempsey is also the founder and chief executive officer of Delux Beauty, a color cosmetics line she launched in 2000.

This story first appeared in the August 18, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.