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Givenchy turned all eyes toward its newly launched mascara, Phenomen’Eyes, Wednesday night with a fashion week party at the Christopher Henry Gallery in Manhattan.
This story first appeared in the September 12, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The event’s centerpiece was 5,045 Lashes, a piece commissioned for the mascara’s launch by Parfums Givenchy. Built over the course of 12 days, it is constructed of 5,045 of the new mascara wands. “I like the repetition of the brushes — it was challenging and fun to do a piece essentially of found objects,” said the artist, Ian Wright.
Among those who dropped in late at the party were Matthew Modine, British rocker Allison Goldfrapp and artist Tom Sachs.
The new mascara, a Sephora exclusive, has been number one at sephora.com since its launch, and out of stock at many Sephora locations, said Linda Maiocco, senior vice president of marketing and public relations for Givenchy and Guerlain in the U.S. According to the company, the new product is also the best-selling mascara in the Sephora chain in France. While she declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the mascara would generate at least $7 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter.
According to Givenchy’s creative director for makeup, Nicolas Degennes, the company sees the mascara as a pronounced departure from the market norm. “Rather than a traditional straight or slightly curved mascara wand, the Phenomen’Eyes has a round applicator,” said Degennes.
The advantage to a rounded tip, he added, is that a spherical brush reaches every lash. “Pointed brushes have to be maneuvered to coat eyelashes’ roots and tips, while a rounded brush can easily be rolled and swept into corners and the eyelashes’ roots,” he said. “The ergonomic brush allows the mascara to grab the very roots of the lashes, and by coating this critical area, the mascara mimics the same effect as eyeliner: Eyes appear fresher, enhanced and more awake.” The spherical tip also reaches the baby-fine lashes in the inner corners of the eyes.
The mascara’s formula includes fluid waxes — “which allow users to have maximum playtime,” said Degennes — as well as molding polymers to keep lashes in place once the desired amount has been applied. In addition, D-Panthenol is included to condition lashes.
Phenomen’Eyes is available in brown and black, each $27.
It launched at Sephora and on sephora.com in August.