By  on August 1, 2008

LONDON — Illamasqua wants to own the night.

The color cosmetics brand, which will bow in October, is setting itself up as a makeup line for women looking to unleash their alter egos after dark.

“We’re positioning ourselves as a nighttime makeup brand,” said Kate Massarella, marketing and product director at Illamasqua, which is based here. “That’s when you let your inhibitions go a bit and become what you want to be.
“It’s about empowering women to self-express through makeup,” she continued.

While the line may comprise 650 stockkeeping units, including 49 shades of lipstick, Illamasqua is not for shrinking violets, since inspirations include underground clubs in Twenties Berlin.

For its launch, Alex Box, the brand’s artistic director, created four looks, each boasting bold colors and brazen attitudes. One of the looks — Twenties Berlin — is an ephemeral collection. Two seasonal collections will be introduced yearly.

As well as Box, the brand’s “art team,” a collective of influencers who steer Illamasqua’s creative course, also includes musician and artist Anja Huwe and David Vanian, lead singer of punk band The Damned.

Among the brand’s product lineup are four foundation textures, including 21 shades of rich liquid foundation, priced at 20 pounds, or $39.63 at current exchange, per 30-ml. tube; 110 powder eye shadow hues, which will retail at 12 pounds, or $23.78 per 2-g. compact, and nail polish in 35 colors, priced at 9 pounds, or $17.83, per 15-ml. bottle. It also comprises makeup tools and fill-to-order compact palettes.

Illamasqua will bow with its own counter in Selfridges’ Oxford Street flagship here in October, and will roll out to the department store chain’s doors in Birmingham and Manchester next year, as well as to other key U.K. retailers. Up to three stand-alone Illamasqua boutique openings also are planned for next year, including at least one here, Massarella said.

“It has the same energy as MAC when it first [started],” said David Walker-Smith, men’s and beauty director at Selfridges, of the brand. “We’re launching it in a big way.”

Massarella said the brand plans to establish itself in its domestic market before moving into the international arena. She declined to discuss forecasts, however, industry sources estimate Illamasqua will generate more than 3 million pounds, or $5.9 million, at retail in its first year.

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