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The Top Stories of 2004/Beauty: P&G’s Star Power

Procter & Gamble, known as much for Tide detergent as it is for cosmetics, boosted its beauty stature this year by aligning itself with two powerful forces in the industry. The consumer-products giant recruited star makeup artist Pat McGrath and...

Procter & Gamble, known as much for Tide detergent as it is for cosmetics, boosted its beauty stature this year by aligning itself with two powerful forces in the industry. The consumer-products giant recruited star makeup artist Pat McGrath and inked a licensing deal with supermodel-turned-cosmetics queen Iman.

During the mayhem of New York’s Fashion Week, P&G announced McGrath’s appointment to the new position of P&G global cosmetics creative design director. Several days later, McGrath was toting her makeup bag — filled with a handful of Cover Girl and Max Factor products — backstage at Anna Sui, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein.

McGrath, a 20-year mainstay in the industry, has made a name for herself by working with notable designers such as Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana. She said the multiyear deal with P&G allows her to funnel her beauty and fashion sensibilities into creating cosmetics for a broader audience. “With [P&G’s] state-of-the-art research, development and technology, and my deep understanding of color, concept and product innovation, this is going to be a great marriage,” said McGrath.

Iman also referred to her deal as a marriage, dubbing the rainy day that she announced the union as a good omen — considering it poured the day she married David Bowie.

The multiyear licensing pact with Impala, which makes Iman and

I-Iman Cosmetics, gives P&G the green light to distribute both brands. Iman admitted she is looking forward to tapping into P&G’s R&D, marketing power and global distribution network. For P&G, Iman gives the company a strong foothold in the ethnic cosmetics market. The deal followed Iman’s decision, a year ago, to take her Iman cosmetics brand into mass retailers.