NEW YORK — When Trae Bodge, Scott Catto and Chad Hayduk — the three cosmetics gurus behind Three Custom Color Specialists — began whipping up custom-blended color cosmetics in 1997, little did the trio know that eight years...
NEW YORK — When Trae Bodge, Scott Catto and Chad Hayduk — the three cosmetics gurus behind Three Custom Color Specialists — began whipping up custom-blended color cosmetics in 1997, little did the trio know that eight years later, they would be at the helm of a business said to be generating more than $4 million in annual sales yearly in more than 10 countries.
While the trio built their business on the concept of matching discontinued makeup shades — and now offer more than 7,500 such colors — they also have embraced the ready-to-wear concept. Ready-made shades now number more than 250, and will grow by 33 stockkeeping units when the company introduces its new lip gloss line in the spring.
The new line comprises high-shine lip glosses, which are packaged in tubes with angled wand applicators — a departure from the 29 existing lip gloss sku’s, which are in pots. The pots will continue to be available, “but we wanted something easy to apply and easily portable with this new line,” said Catto.
The glosses, in cool, warm and neutral color families, are the result of inspiration “from literally everywhere,” said Bodge with a laugh. “Our travel, street fashion, what clients have asked for over the past two years — reproducing all of these discontinued shades has proven to be the ultimate think tank.”
The lip glosses, each priced $18.50, will be available in the brand’s distribution of 53 domestic beauty boutiques and 17 overseas stores, as well as on threecustom.com, the company’s Web site, in March. Sources estimate they could do $500,000 this year. And distribution will grow even more this year: Bodge noted that Three Custom Color has plans to add doors in Qatar, Belgium and Hong Kong by yearend.
As excited as the trio is about its new lip gloss line, they emphasize that business is as strong as ever on the custom-blended side — and the company’s Color Studio initiative, added to its Chelsea headquarters in October, is one of the elements leading the charge for the custom and ready-made sides of the business.
“The Color Studio allows us to make people feel at home,” said Hayduk. “We wanted something intimate. When you’re getting your face done at a department store, you have everyone grabbing at you. Up here, you can just relax in a quiet space, with a consultant who wants to make the process a pampering one.”One-on-one consultations in the studio involve a run-through of the trio’s hundreds of ready-made shades, as well as consultations on custom-blended products for cheeks, lips, eyes and face. A “Makeup Bag Makeover” — where cosmetics hoarders’ bags become streamlined — is also included. These hour-long appointments run $65 for a Color Specialist, or $105 for an appointment with one of the founders.
As for the custom-blended products themselves, two tubes of lipstick or two pots of lip gloss are $50 (additional units are available at that time for $15), a single pot of creme-to-powder blush is $37.50 ($20.50 for an additional one at order time) and a single compact of eye shadow or brow powder is $34 ($17 for each additional). Custom concealers can be had for $36.50, while loose powders are $47.50 and pressed powders are $36.50.
The Color Studio also offers complimentary 20-minute run-throughs of its ready-made makeup collections, with color and application recommendations.
Recipes for custom-blended colors stay in the trio’s archives indefinitely, allowing consumers to continually replenish their stash of shades. Lipsticks are the most-requested custom-blended products, noted Bodge. “We’ll match anything, but we also have recipes filed by name and from the high end to the mass end of the business — so if you know the name and brand of the desired color, there’s a decent chance that we’ll have it on file,” she said.
And unlike their department store sisters, “we never discontinue colors,” promised Bodge.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast