NEW YORK — The duo behind Pantina — a new mass-market cosmetics brand — are smiling so much these days, their cheeks hurt. Their bout of acute cheerfulness began three weeks ago when the pair — Wendy Chang, vice president of product development, and Sonia Russomanno, vice president of marketing — introduced Pantina to retail buyers at the National Association of Chain Drug Store's Marketplace Meeting.
The new line, which has a decidedly prestige look (think Nars meets Stila), garnered interest from a host of retailers, such as Rite Aid, Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy, Duane Reade and Happy Harry's.
What makes retailers' fondness for Pantina exceptional is that beauty companies — from Revlon to fledgling newcomers Arissa and NYX — are embroiled in a battle for space along the beauty wall. Manufacturers report retailers are trimming space from underperforming mega brands, leaving a few feet of display space up for grabs.
Pantina will make its entry into drugstores this fall with countertop displays. The company expects to be in more than 1,000 stores by year-end, and grab in-line display space in nearly 10,000 doors next year. The 2006 rollout will likely include Canadian and South American retailers, as well.
Russomanno, who prior to her role at Pantina, was director of marketing for Avon's Mark brand, explained products in the line are meant to be portable and multi-tasking. For instance, each gloss is infused with Maxi-Lip, a patented ingredient designed to boost collagen production over a 29-day period.
Chang noted that product names such as Shake It Baby! shimmer dust powder and Da' Balm lip balm speak to Pantina's "sexy, smart and fun" positioning. Other standout products include the dual-ended French Minis nail polish pen and Spring Look Book, a Stila-inspired compact that contains three eye shadows, two cream-to-powder eyeliners, and application instructions. Products — 100 items in all — range in price from $4 to $7.
The company would not comment on sales expectations, but industry sources expect Pantina could reap $50 million in retail sales in 2006.
In September, Pantina will begin its media campaign, which relies on print ads in beauty books such as Lucky, Allure and Glamour, and online marketing. Beginning in August, consumers can log onto Pantina.com and sign up to receive full-size samples. In January, the company plans to kick off a sweepstakes — three winners will receive $500 worth of Pantina cosmetics — and begin a model search next spring.Pantina is owned by Interfashion Cosmetics, a contract manufacturing firm started by Wendy Chang's parents, Pan and Morris Chang. Their son, Jimmy, oversees Pantina's operations.
Wendy Chang, who studied international trade and marketing at F.I.T., learned the more "gritty" parts of the beauty business by working in Interfashion's research and development lab. She explained that since the lab is a stone's throw from Pantina's office, the beauty company can turn around a new product concept in three to four months.
The quick turnaround time allowed Chang and Russomanno to conduct focus groups for Pantina in L.A., New York and Chicago, manufacture the products, and introduce them at marketplace in five months' time.
Chang declared, "We have a long-term commitment to this brand."
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye