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With a new cream foundation and lipstick/gloss combination due this fall, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are planting their stake even more deeply in the color cosmetics playing field.
This story first appeared in the August 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The designers, whose scent and color cosmetics business licenses are held by Procter & Gamble Prestige Products, first entered the makeup category in February 2009 with 110 stockkeeping units. Including the new additions, the range will now comprise 250 sku’s.
Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation, which will be available in 15 shades, each $55, is the line’s first cream foundation and is intended to offer easier application and is buildable. Each glass jar is hand-filled and finished with an engraved gold top. “A woman who applies makeup is doing a very sensual act that captures the attention,” said Dolce. “So the quality is important, but also its image, its packaging.…Everything in our products is designed to have women feeling sensual, and extremely feminine while using it.”
Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick combines a cream lipstick bullet with a center of gloss. “Passion Duo is the Dolce & Gabbana woman: passionate, extremely feminine and sensual,” said Dolce. “A woman who lives in the present, likes to take care of herself and has a strong personality.”
Twenty lip colors in four shade families — Nudes to Browns; Reds to Oranges; Pinks to Mauves, and True Passion — will be offered, each priced $34. Depending on the desired finish, the cream bullet can be emphasized (for vivid color) or the center gloss can be (for a stain effect). “Today’s girl likes traditional makeup, but also likes to try new things,” said Gabbana. “Passion Duo links gloss and lipstick and the final effect on lips is very nice.”
Dolce said, “The combination between matte and gloss gives an extra shine on the lips, especially on their central part. And it has a very specific click when the packaging closes. After several attempts we achieved the result we wanted and we are very proud of it.”
While color cosmetics isn’t an inexpensive category to enter, the designing duo felt extremely strongly about involving themselves in makeup. “For us, makeup has always been a fundamental element to complete the Dolce & Gabbana universe,” said Gabbana. “We had thought about makeup for a long time and we dedicated energies, study and intensive research before launching it. Fashion collections and makeup are linked together, since they complete each other.”
Dolce added: “We always knew that makeup is a very challenging market, with specific rules and characteristics, and we wanted to enter in the best way: a rich lineup with several products and colors available.”
To most effectively integrate color and apparel, the duo discuss both at the same time. “Once we decide the theme for our [apparel] collection, we start to create the entire look of the Dolce & Gabbana woman, from accessories to hair and makeup, of course,” said Gabbana. “The way we work is the same for makeup and fashion. The biggest part of our job is talking — we talk about everything.”
“This season, we worked on the sensuality of the contrast between masculine and feminine, and everything was built on this main theme,” said Dolce. “We start from the main idea, the concept, and then we build the story, we aim to see this new product within the Dolce & Gabbana world, we contaminate it with our DNA.”
The duo consulted with makeup artist Pat McGrath on the new additions, as well as the original collection.
According to Luigi Feola, vice president of Procter & Gamble Prestige, the cosmetics line has grown more than 50 percent this year, via new door openings and higher productivity in existing doors. “The growth rate was beyond expectations,” he said. While Feola declined give dollar figures, industry sources estimate that the two new products could add as much as $15 million at retail to the line in their first 12 months on counter. Globally, the products are available in about 70 doors, including Saks Fifth Avenue in the U.S. It will enter Saks doors in late September.
“It is of great strategic importance to us and to the fashion house that we win in makeup with Dolce & Gabbana,” said Feola. “We look at color as part of a natural expansion of the brand and believe very strongly in its potential and its success. The designers also bring strong passion to the line, because they feel strongly that color is a natural extension of what they do.”
Ads featuring Scarlett Johansson, shot by Sølve Sundsbø, will begin running in September fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines globally.