For one of Guerlain’s newest offerings, its creative director, Olivier Echaudemaison, took his inspiration from the brand’s storied past.
This story first appeared in the February 25, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Rouge Automatique, a 25-shade lip color line which bows in the U.S. and Europe in April, takes both its name and its inspiration from a 1936 Guerlain product of the same name, Echaudemaison noted. Not only that, each of the 25 shades is named for a Guerlain fragrance — past, present or future, since the company has 600 registered fragrance names, he explained. Shades range from beiges and reds to corals, oranges and pinks. The color emerges from the gold tube by pushing a lever, which opens the cap and reveals the color bullet.
“Lipstick is an accessory — you should have fun with it,” said Echaudemaison of both the color and the way it is accessed. He noted that Rouge Automatique is intended to be a midpoint between the brand’s sophisticated Rouge G and classic Kiss Kiss lipstick lines.
The texture is a balance between being shiny and long-lasting (up to three hours), according to Isabelle Hébant, group manager of makeup and marketing development for Guerlain. “It is intended to have a second skin effect on the lips, which is accomplished by a low gradient fusion point — when the formula touches the lips, it becomes liquid,” she said of the brand’s new proprietary Crystal Pigment technology. “This formula involves pigments encapsulated in glass, which makes colors true and vivid.”
In the U.S., Rouge Automatique will be available in about 300 specialty store doors, said Linda Maiocco, senior vice president of marketing and public relations for Guerlain in the U.S. While all Guerlain executives refused to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated the collection could do about $4 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter.