Deborah Lippmann is teaming up with Barneys New York to offer an exclusive permanent collection for the retailer, which will be launched in October. Twelve new shades, inspired by Lippmann’s visions of the upscale Barneys’ customer, will be offered. Each will retail for $24, except for Gold Digger, an offering containing 24-karat gold flakes, which will retail for $50. While Lippmann’s signature bottles have black tops, the Barneys collection will have white tops, which Lippmann noted will “mirror the in-store aesthetic and help differentiate itself from our other collections.” Lippmann is also planning an exclusive line for Sephora, which she entered last year.
The offerings are one of several built around the 15th anniversary of Lippmann’s nail line. Lippmann founded the company with her husband, Jude Severin, the year they got married, launching in high-end doors such as Barneys and Neiman Marcus, with Deborah’s brother Mark Lippmann also on board as a cofounder (he remains a managing partner). The brand’s U.S. distribution has risen to 1,600 doors, including luxury spas and specialty stores, and now Lippmann and Severin have their eyes on further global expansion. The brand is currently available in about 320 doors in 20 countries and that number is growing steadily, noted Lippmann.
In the last year, the brand has entered the U.K., Ireland, France and Singapore, and is currently in discussions to be introduced across Europe by a major retailer, noted Severin, who is president of Deborah Lippmann Collection. Other markets for Lippmann Collection include Hong Kong, South Korea, Russia, China and Japan. Italy is next; the brand will soon enter luxury retailer 10 Corso Como. The brand’s first international door was Lane Crawford in Hong Kong in 2003.
Both Severin and Lippmann credit Kenneth Lipper, chairman of Lipper & Co. LLC, with placing them on their current growth trajectory. The couple met Lipper, who is now the company’s chairman, on an airplane in 2002. “He started mentoring us and his expertise was invaluable,” said Lippmann, noting Lipper’s extensive business background, including serving on Neutrogena’s board and as deputy mayor of New York City.
Industry sources estimated the current size of the brand at about $20 million in retail sales. Lipper, Severin and Lippmann all declined comment on dollar figures, although Severin noted that the company’s sales have grown 16 percent year to date over last year’s numbers, following a 23 percent hike year-over-year in 2013.
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