By  on July 17, 2009

After a brief one-year hiatus, Lancôme is bringing back its popular Pout-à-Porter series. This time around, the French beauty brand has teamed with Chris Benz to create a limited edition lipstick that will be unveiled — and officially named — at the designer’s spring show in September. Much to the delight of Benz’s bright-young-things fan base, Lancôme held a naming contest for the lipstick on the designer’s Facebook fan page earlier this month, encouraging Benz enthusiasts to title the shade that will be worn by the models who bound down his runway come September.

“He was looking for something beautiful, fresh and airy,” said David Booth, assistant vice president of marketing for the lip category at Lancôme. “The lipstick will serve as the best backdrop and complement to his collection.” Lancôme executives remained mum on color, but industry insiders hinted at coral as the likely hue for the new product. Benz, who has final creative control of the lip shade and texture, will choose the winning name from the more than 1,000 entrees that were submitted via the social networking site. Top contenders are said to include everything from Rock with Me and Farrah-licous — as tributes to the late icons — to names like Peach Nirvana, which pays homage to Seattle, where both Benz and the Nineties grunge band hail from. Other leading choices include Benz Blush, Chris’ Kisses and Park Avenue Poser.

While the lipstick will mark the official beauty debut for the young designer, Benz said the project felt like a natural extension. “When you consider the most iconic fashion images of our time, the beauty point-of-view is just often as strong as that of the clothes themselves, so the opportunity to develop a makeup concept right alongside the collection was one I leapt at, naturally,” he explained. “I loved the exercise of thinking about the color, the finish, and the whole experience that makeup creates for the woman who wears it.”

Fewer than 2,500 lipsticks, priced under $30 pending the formula, will be created for limited distribution beginning in January at Lancôme’s five boutiques as well as a yet-to-be-determined retailer. Previous Pout-à-Porter collections have sold at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

The young designer joins notable Pout-à-Porter alums Proenza Schouler, Behnaz Sarafpour, Peter Som and Thakoon — all of whom have collaborated with Lancôme on exclusive lip shades. With names like Proenza Pink and PS Kiss, the Pout-à-Porter series, which was started in 2006, has proven a marketing coup for the French beauty giant. All four shades sold out, and were greeted with waiting lists and even bidding wars on eBay, where one of the Proenza lipsticks sold for $122.50.

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