NEW YORK -- The connection between cosmetics and fashion is often more assumed than realized. But Prescriptives has been working backstage during the just-concluded New York collections to prove that beauty has a place on the...
NEW YORK -- The connection between cosmetics and fashion is often more assumed than realized. But Prescriptives has been working backstage during the just-concluded New York collections to prove that beauty has a place on the runway.
Prescriptives, the only color cosmetics house among the sponsors of the 7th on Sixth tent shows in Bryant Park, has been collaborating with makeup artists -- many of them flown in by the company -- and 17 designers in coming up with makeup looks to set off the fashion.
"It finishes the dress," said Bradley Bayou, as he stood backstage early last Friday morning watching half a dozen makeup artists, including lead artist Brigitte Reiss Anderson, working on his models. "It's like an accessory, like putting on a piece of jewelry."
In working with designers like Bayou, Prescriptives used colors from its fall palette, called Color 95, that will hit the stores in July. The company furnished a makeup bag full of the new products to every makeup artist and assistant.
"We're launching this through the makeup artists," said James Bunn, president of Prescriptives, a division of EstÄe Lauder.
Bunn also said he sees a larger purpose in his firm's participation. "It's to reinforce our fashion authority," he said, noting that collections week is also market week, with the fashion tents full of retailing's chief executive officers.
"We are having the biggest summer shipping season ever," Bunn added. He declined to elaborate, but sources estimate that Prescriptives' fall color business could soar to $25 million, compared with $15 million last year.
The company's sponsorship effort adds up to a sizable commitment: Although Bunn would not discuss figures, sources said sponsorship fees totaled $100,000. The figure includes this season's shows as well as those held last November, when Prescriptives also participated.
In addition, costs for using makeup artists, other personnel and the makeup itself push the involvement to $250,000 for each of the spring and fall collections.
"The cosmetics people tried for a long time to tie in with fashion and it never happened," said Sylvie Chantecaille, senior executive of creative marketing at Prescriptives. "The fashion people don't often focus on makeup, while the cosmetics people frequently lack the patience to work hand in hand with the apparel people."
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"