With its new partnership with Mattel Inc., Stila Cosmetics hopes to prove that the toy company’s highest-profile figurine is more than just a doll.
Barbie, now celebrating her 50th birthday, is getting a new Stila color cosmetics line this spring, and the makeup company also will serve as the cosmetics sponsor for Mattel’s first Barbie runway show during New York Fashion Week next month.
“Stila is a brand which at the core is about fun and innovation,” said Richard Dickson, Mattel’s general manager and senior vice president for the Barbie brand, during a phone interview earlier this week from Shanghai, where he is readying the brand’s new House of Barbie flagship. “The combination of Barbie and Stila felt right.”
Agreed Deanna Kangas, president and chief executive officer of Stila: “These two brands are fun and girly and fit together very well. It’s fun to be in the planning meetings for this project.”
The Stila-Mattel collaboration marks the second time in three years that the Barbie moniker will be splashed on upscale cosmetics: In 2007, Mattel teamed up with MAC Cosmetics to create a color cosmetics collection and a Barbie dressed as a MAC makeup artist. The collection was said to be one of MAC’s most successful collaborations to date and reportedly generated more than $9 million in retail sales in North America. Many pieces, including the doll, sold out in less than a day, according to industry sources.
So why not head back to MAC? Dickson said the decision was a matter of overall strategy. “We’ve had a history with the beauty industry, and in particular had a very successful partnership with MAC,” she said. “Our cobranding strategy [with Barbie] has been to develop relationships in various different categories to create cultural noise and drive demand. In order to do that, you really do need to be limited and quick — keeping it innovative and limited has been part of the appeal of our products. For instance, we have a history of doing limited edition Barbies with fashion designers, and we follow the same strategy. We don’t saturate the market. They come and go, and they keep the brand out there as a cultural thing.”
Speaking of designers, 50 of them, reportedly including Vera Wang, have signed on to show Barbie-inspired fashion at the February runway show — and Dickson notes that makeup will be a very important part of the show. Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury has been confirmed as the show’s lead makeup artist.
“A celebration of Barbie through the decades will be subtly presented throughout the show, and the makeup is absolutely essential not only to show the decades but to show the mood,” said Dickson. “It’s a complicated show in a lot of ways and makeup is essential to it. Throughout the last 50 years, Barbie has changed her look quite a bit.”
And the Stila-Mattel partnership will not be limited to the U.S., said Dickson. “We are approaching this as a global relationship,” said Dickson. “We will do fashion shows around the world, and we will distribute products globally.” Japan will be one of the first countries post-U.S. to get the show, he said. The market has historically been a strong one for Stila, as well, said industry sources.
The inaugural, limited edition line will make its debut exclusively at Sephora next month. It will be available at Sephora’s Fifth Avenue store in New York, international Sephora locations and at sephora.com only. The collection features four Decades of Beauty cans, each $40, with a booklet inside describing the beauty and fashion wardrobes for each doll. The first, #1 Ponytail Doll, celebrates the first Barbie, launched in 1959. It includes a red lipstick called Ponytail, a liquid eyeliner and a three-pan paper-wrapped compact with two eye shadows and a cheek color. Malibu Barbie, which highlights the doll of the same name that launched in 1971, has a pale pink Lip Glaze called Malibu, a black mascara and a compact with two eye shadows and a bronzer. Foxy Doll, which depicts the African-American Barbie launched in 1980, includes a Lip Glaze called Foxy, mascara and a compact with two eye shadows and a cheek color. The final offering, Jewel Doll, is based on the 2000 Barbie of the same name and includes a bright pink Lip Glaze called Jewel, a Multi-Effect Mascara and a compact with two eye shadows and a cheek color.
Stila also will launch a new version of its patent-pending talking palette with tips and tools on how to get the Barbie look. As with the beauty cans, this product, which will retail for $40, will be available only at Sephora and sephora.com.
The limited edition collection will be only the beginning of the collaboration, noted Kangas. “These products will precede a larger collection and Barbie beauty program slated for fall 2009,” she said.
While none of the executives would discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the first collection of limited edition Stila products would at least match MAC’s $9 million retail sales figure in North America.
In November, Dickson said products other than toys make up half of Barbie’s annual sales, which come in at just less than $3 billion. The nontoy business includes Barbie Couture, a five-year-old women’s clothing line comprising $230 dresses and $500 suits sold at more than 25 branded stores in Asia.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)