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This story first appeared in the January 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Jean Paul Gaultier, who four years ago introduced a generation of guys to makeup with his Le Male color line for men, is now taking a stab at skin care.
The French designer will introduce in spring a collection of color cosmetics and skin care products for men called Monsieur. The line will replace Gaultier’s makeup collection, called Le Male Tout Beau Tout Propre, a 2003 entry that’s being discontinued.
Monsieur, which is billed as a stand-alone line, consists of a fragranced body spray, $46 for 100 ml.; nine color cosmetics items, priced from $14 to $40, and seven shaving and skin care products, priced between $18 and $34.
“We learned a lot from [Tout Beau Tout Propre] and I think [Monsieur] is stronger but we’ve managed to keep the fun,” said Louis Desazars, president of the U.S. subsidiary of Gaultier’s licensee, Beauté Prestige International, during an interview in New York last week. “It’s much more approachable and has wider appeal,” added Desazars, who, as reported, has been named chief executive officer of Nars Cosmetics Inc.
The makeup component of Monsieur comprises a powder bronzer, $40 for 8 grams; fluid bronzer, $30 for 50 ml.; eyeliner pencil, $14 for 1.2 grams, and brow definer pencils in light and medium shades, each $14 for 1.2 grams. There is also a transparent gel brow groomer, $18 for 7 ml.; self-tanning gel, $28 for 50 ml., and a mattifying gel called Shine Stopper, $25 for 15 ml. Rounding out the makeup range are light, medium and tawny shades of a 15-ml. concealer ($20), and transparent, medium and tawny shades of lip balm ($18 for 3.5 grams).
“Monsieur is totally apart [from Gaultier’s fragrance business] and a bit different from the initial strategy,” Desazars noted. “Tout Beau Tout Propre was launched within the Le Male fragrance business. Putting Tout Beau Tout Propre [under] Le Male was good for Le Male but not for Tout Beau Tout Propre. It gave the impression that it was scented with Le Male.”
During the time Tout Beau Tout Propre was on the market, the line experienced some retrenching and new products were added.
“With Tout Beau Tout Propre, we learned there is definitely a real interest and a customer for this type of product,” said Desazars, who acknowledged fine-tuning of the assortment. “We’ve learned that products need to stay very masculine [but] we had some products that were too feminine in the first [stages of Tout Beau Tout Propre].”
Helping to spur Gaultier skin care products were “Men [who] were asking for a complete approach from Jean Paul Gaultier,” said Desazars.
The shaving and skin care component of Monsieur features a face wash, $20 for 125 ml.; face scrub, $20 for 125 ml.; shaving cream, $18 for 125 ml., and aftershave gel, $25 for 50 ml. There is also moisturizing face balm, $32 for 50 ml.; Energizing Face Care, $34 for 50 ml., and Energizing Eye Care, $30 for 15 ml.
Takasago perfumer Francis Kurkdjian collaborated with Gaultier to blend the body spray, a mix of citrus and woody essential oils. During development of Monsieur’s packaging, Gaultier directed the creative efforts of design agency Interbrand Paris Venise. Desazars pointed to a tile design element on Monsieur’s packaging meant to evoke the Paris metro.
Monsieur is expected to be on counter worldwide on April 1. In the U.S., initial plans call for the line to reach 50 specialty store doors.
“The idea is staying focused for at least a year,” said Desazars, discussing potentially expanding distribution of Monsieur in the future. “In men’s grooming, you need to be narrow and deep and give it good support. Men need to be educated and need service, so if you want to make it profitable, you have to be limited in terms of distribution.”
In the U.S., Gaultier’s fragrances are carried in about 1,000 doors, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s and Sephora.
Industry sources estimate the 22-stockkeeping unit Monsieur line could garner sales volume of $500,000 to $750,000 in its first year on counter. That number could rise to $1 million in the second year.
Most of the support for Monsieur will come from cooperative advertising with retailers, according to Desazars. Also key in grooming, he said, is building awareness in-store, particularly though sampling.
International distribution plans call for Monsieur to be launched at roughly 1,500 doors in 20 countries.