In January, Estée Lauder will launch a limited-edition Derek Lam collection, a makeup lineup that allows the designer to stick his toe into the color cosmetics pool.
While it’s unlikely that the collection will garner massive sales — industry sources estimated that the offering would generate roughly $1 million at retail in a tight lineup of about 100 specialty stores in North America and 80 overseas — the partnership moves the style needle forward for Lauder, which has been ramping up its designer game lately (case in point: new in-store employee uniforms by Opening Ceremony.) It’s the first major cosmetics fashion statement from Lauder since Tom Ford did a limited collection in 2005.
The collection will be sold as an $85 set of five products — Kajal Crayon in Near Night, a navy blue; The Mascara in Black Black; The EyeShadow in Smoked Gold; The LipColor in Smoked Blush, and The Gloss in Barely Gold — tucked inside a navy Derek Lam clutch. The satin hard-case clutch includes Lam’s signature dumbbell clasp.
Lam cooked up the collection with Tom Pecheux, creative makeup director of Estée Lauder and Lam’s longtime friend. The two have collaborated on runway looks since Lam’s first show, and Pecheux used this collection backstage at the designer’s spring runway show. Pecheux took the looks from daytime to full-on evening by adding layers of makeup as the show progressed. “It fit into a woman’s life — that’s what most women do,” said Pecheux. “Nobody has time to go back home to shower, to clean and rebuild the makeup. Girls like to add a bit of makeup to start their second part of the day and then the evening.”
“I’ve been working with Tom since my very first show and Estée Lauder for the last eight seasons,” the designer told WWD. “That longtime involvement is invaluable — we’re really working hand in hand.”
“I’m known for having a quiet palette, being a minimalist, all those kinds of words,” said Lam of his runway shows. “But working with Tom, we both wanted to go beyond that and present a real look for each show. We didn’t just want to go for the classics. Having said that, I do love the idea women could use my makeup like my ready-to-wear collection — as part of the wardrobe that creates a personality and a style. I wanted that functionality in the makeup line. I also wanted to translate what I’m seeing in fabrics and textures into the cosmetics.”
Lam could head into fragrance next. “I did a one-off fragrance in spring 2006,” he said. “We only offered it to the audience at the show — and I still get requests for it. I’ve always tried to incorporate beauty and fragrance — I see that as very intrinsic to what I do, which is not about one particular look or way of dressing, but trying to express personal style. This is another expression of style that is curated by me and Tom. We wanted it to be an elevated experience, but accessible.”
“Derek Lam and Estée Lauder share a sophisticated, aspirational aesthetic,” said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president of Estée Lauder, adding that the brand is celebrating “eight seasons of backstage beauty with a collection created by Derek and Tom that speaks to their partnership in connecting fashion, style and beauty.”
The collection’s retail distribution includes Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and esteelauder.com in North America and Harrods, Galeries Lafayette and El Corte Inglés in Europe. Support includes in-store and online promotion as well as marketing through Estée Lauder’s social-media channels.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast