By  on May 16, 2008

With a partnership with Marchesa and a new chief marketing officer, Stila Cosmetics is attempting to fashion its future.

The indie brand, founded by Jeanine Lobell in 1994 and owned by the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. from 1999 to 2006, was purchased by the private investment firm Sun Capital Partners in April 2006.

Deanna Kangas, who joined Stila as chief marketing officer in January, is responsible for developing partnerships and overseeing all marketing activities. Kangas' background includes a stint as vice president of marketing at, during which time she directed its acquisition by the Estée Lauder Cos. She has also held senior positions at Bath & Body Works and Mattel.

One of Kangas' first projects: a new color lineup created with Marchesa's founders. Stila has partnered with the fashion brand for Marchesa's last four ready-to-wear shows, working with founders and designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig and makeup artist Talia Shobrook to create makeup looks. The colors used in February for Marchesa's fall 2008 show were so well received, said Kangas, the decision was made to add them to the fall 2008 Stila color collection and showcase the brand's partnership with Marchesa to consumers.

The result: The Backstage Beauty Collection, which includes three palettes, each with one matte and two shimmery eye shadow shades and an eyeliner. The Front Row Look is a black-patent palette with a smoky quartz eyeliner; The Red Carpet Look is a red-patent palette with an onyx eyeliner, and The Runway Look is a pewter-patent palette with an onyx eyeliner. Each palette is finished with fake leather rosettes that can be reused as necklaces or bracelets. The palettes will retail for $40 each. The Marchesa-Stila palettes will be available at Sephora, and in August. They are limited edition items and are likely to be sold through by October.

"Like Christian Louboutin shoes, Stila colors were essential to finishing our look for the show," said Chapman during a press event showcasing the products at Soho House in New York. Kangas and her team had one more Marchesa surprise up their sleeves at the event: lipstick shades named for Chapman (a sheer red), Craig (a nude shade) and Shobrook (a rich berry color). All three are permanently joining Stila's lipstick lineup and will retail for $22 each."The joining of one of the beauty industry's most talented artistry brands with the fashion industry's brightest stars has produced an exciting product collaboration," said Allison Slater, vice president of retail marketing for Sephora. "We are [very pleased] to be the retail partner for the launch of the collection."

While all parties refused to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the Backstage Beauty Collection would do $2 million to $3 million at retail.

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