By and  on August 19, 2005

NEW YORK — Napoleon is adding new territory to his realm. Napoleon Perdis the makeup artist, that is.

During a recent interview, Perdis speaks at a breakneck pace about his widely varied interests — he is learning French, he has a glass fish collection and he wears two watches reflecting his multicultural heritage (Greek and Australian). The timepiece on his left wrist, a Paneria Luiminoir GMT, is set to New York and Sydney times; the Louis Vuitton watch on his right wrist reflects Athens time.

But Perdis has a singular focus when it comes to his beauty brand: expanding its reach globally. "I want to be everywhere," said Perdis, who aims to next expand his reach in the U.S., where he launched this past spring in eight Saks Fifth Avenue doors. By yearend, the products are slated to be in about 12 Saks doors, and sources estimate that his U.S. retail sales could top $4.5 million in the first year. Globally, it could do $32 million at retail in the same time frame.

Perdis also is eyeing retail spaces for the first two of what he hopes will be a string of U.S. freestanding stores: a West Hollywood unit is set for a February opening, and a Manhattan location is slated for a July launch. And he has his family firmly behind him on the adventure: brother Emmanuel Perdis is his business partner; his wife, Soula-Marie Perdis, is the firm's financial controller, and his father, Yanni Perdis, is the company's warehouse manager. In fact, it was Napoleon Perdis' mother, Liana, who was his inspiration for the line.

"My mother was my first muse," he said. It was his mother's Greek skin tones that help inspire the line. "When I started, few lines catered to ethnic skin, at least in Australia," he said. "My mother had difficulty finding makeup for her coloring." His wife and four daughters also provide plenty of ongoing inspiration for the brand, Perdis said.

Perdis, who also runs an eponymous makeup school in his native Australia, founded his line in his hometown of Sydney in 1993. Originally intended as a professional range of products, the assortment has expanded to include retail consumers and makeup artists alike, said Perdis. The line, which ranges in price from $5 for a makeup pencil sharpener to $400 for a silver cosmetics case, is in upward of 500 retail doors in Australia and New Zealand, including Australian department store David Jones; 28 stand-alone Napoleon Perdis stores in Australia, and two stand-alone stores in New Zealand.

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