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Beauty Beat: Darac Puts His Touch…

The makeup artist known as Darac has a taste for the unorthodox, as is evident by the introduction of his first eponymous makeup collection in his more than...

The makeup artist known as Darac has a taste for the unorthodox, as is evident by the introduction of his first eponymous makeup collection in his more than 30-year career.

This story first appeared in the March 24, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

For starters, the five-item collection, called Darac Beauty, will be introduced in tandem on both the QVC home shopping channel on April 26 and in the lofty realm of Bergdorf Goodman the next day, with Darac making appearances for both retailers.

Then there are the products. A TourQuam makeup brush is cut on an angle to better apply powder to the three-dimensional planes of the face and a magnet inside the handle is designed to attract the iron oxide in the fine powder and produce a more even finish. “I don’t think the typical brush has been redesigned since Michelangelo,” he observed, noting that after much research he found a better idea in the fingerprint brushes that police use. It comes in two sizes, a large size priced $75 for Bergdorf’s and a smaller $45 version for QVC.

A Sifted Blur compact, priced $32, offers micro-milled face powder designed to produce a more translucent, light-dispersing finish to avoid the caked-on aged look of some face powders. Feature Focus is a three-part cream, gel and makeup compact designed to soften lines, diminish the effects of shadows and frame the eye plane to sculpt the appearance of the face with a 3-D effect. A transparent diagram of a sample face is provided for application guidance. The compact is priced $39.50.

An Expedition Mascara, priced $19.50, contains vitamins with a brush cut to separate the bottom lashes and avoid clumping and drying. Darac, who worked for Prescriptives at Bergdorf’s, noted that many makeup artist lines are “either based on trends or the artist’s reputation.” He said his aim was to provide “core solutions” by going back to the drawing boards of basic research and reexaming long-held beliefs.

The name of the company producing his line is called Cobalt Balloon LLC, a division of Violy & Co., a merger and acquisitions specialist largely in South America.

Michelle Williams, a former retailer and manufacturing executive who is consulting with the company, said a foundation is in the works and Darac is formulating a Sifted Sun bronzer with antiaging properties, containing hyaluronic acid, as Sifted Blur does, for introduction in June.

In August, the company plans on launching a Lipmatic lipstick with plumping properties achieved through optical means. There also will be a more traditional lipstick.

Williams noted that the company expects to begin expanding distribution in the fourth quarter, probably to specialty stores and direct mail, although plans have not been set. She said QVC and Bergdorf’s had been picked for the launch partly because Darac liked the way both retailers serve their customers. No one would discuss numbers. However, industry sources estimate the business could generate $6 million at wholesale in its first full year.

— Pete Born

Ck Calvin Klein Hits Sephora

The ck Calvin Klein beauty line, which bowed in Europe in spring 2007 and entered U.S. and Asian markets in September, was added late last week to 17 freestanding Sephora doors in major U.S. markets, including San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. Additional doors are expected to be added this fall.

“We are pleased to further our relationship with Sephora in the U.S. and expand our distribution to include their retail stores at this time,” stated Tom Murry, president and chief operating officer of Calvin Klein Inc. “Ck Calvin Klein beauty has been available on sephora.com and we feel that their online and freestanding stores provide an excellent showcase for our beauty line.”

Murry noted that the product mix on sephora.com has included products exclusive to the retailer; the company also plans to offer Sephora-only products in stores, as well.

“We are very excited to expand Sephora’s distribution of ck Calvin Klein beauty,” stated Betsy Olum, Sephora’s senior vice president of marketing. “The formulas, beautifully designed packaging and accessible price points make this brand a fantastic addition to our color assortment.” The line’s 200-plus stockkeeping units range in price from $10 to $47, with an average price point of $22.

Industry sources estimate the ck Calvin Klein color line could do $50 million to $60 million at wholesale globally this year.

The ck Calvin Klein beauty line is manufactured by Markwins Holding Company Ltd. and is intended to complement Calvin Klein Inc.’s ck Calvin Klein line of bridge apparel and accessories.

— Julie Naughton