By and  on July 16, 2010

LOS ANGELES — After Burberry Beauty generated an estimated $10,000 at retail in five hours at Nordstrom in San Francisco on Tuesday, the makeup was then unveiled in Southern California during an afternoon tea Wednesday at a Beverly Hills mansion that was the former home of Tom Cruise. Among the guests roving the expansive grounds and checking out the cosmetics were Serena Williams and “Glee” star Jayma Mays.

Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey gushed that Burberry Beauty was receiving a “great reaction.” “We wanted it to enhance rather than cover and what we’ve found so far is people really responding to that,” he said. “It’s not an accessory on your face. It’s really something that makes you feel lighter and more confident.”

Philippe Benacin, chairman and chief executive officer of Inter Parfums SA, expressed confidence Burberry Beauty would meet first-year sales targets that had been previously calculated by industry sources. While he declined to discuss numbers, sources had estimated that Burberry is shooting for sales of 500,000 to 1 million euros, or $636,700 to nearly $1.3 million at the current exchange rates, at each counter. He was somewhat surprised the Sheer Foundation was a strong seller out of the gate, but less so that mascara and lipstick were performing well.

Looking forward, Benacin said Burberry Beauty would introduce new products for at least two looks next year totaling around 20 stockkeeping units. As the line expands, Bailey indicated he would resist the temptation to jump on beauty trends with faddish products. “The way we are going to grow it is different with skin types, different skin colors and then keep adding to it on a seasonal basis,” said Bailey. “We don’t want statement makeup. It is not about the latest color for your eyes, the latest color for your lips.”

The day before in San Francisco, the Burberry color line made its debut at Nordstrom with a cocktail party in the couture section of thedowntown store. In two hours, 30 makeup artists turned out 250 makeovers in colors inspired by the brand’s iconic trenchcoat. At the reception, Bailey was greeted by his pal Vanessa Getty, who wore a tan, silk Burberry button-down blouse and black draped shorts by Alexander Wang.

Across the room, Benacin chatted about the strategy of gradually rolling out the line to 30 doors worldwide this year, starting with just five Nordstrom locations — San Francisco and Costa Mesa, Calif.; Seattle; Chicago,and Paramus, N.J. “This is our first makeup line, so it’s like opening a new store for us,” Benacin said. At the next day’s event, he added that the overseas distribution includes Holt Renfrew in Canada, Harrods in the U.K., Galeries Lafayette in France and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. The door count is expected to grow to 100 next year. “When you are going with one partner in each country,” Benacin said, “the partner is doing a lot of effort, much more than if you have many doors.”

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