By and  on June 14, 2013

Marc Jacobs is venturing into beauty territory where few designers have prospered and he’s doing it with his trademark wit and sharply defined aesthetic.

Instead of playing it safe, Jacobs has teamed up with Sephora Originals to launch an ambitious color cosmetics collection called Marc Jacobs Beauty. It is a strong statement and a brave move in a makeup category that has traditionally been hazardous for major designers, who have launched color collections and failed.

But from all indications, Jacobs appears to be poised to deliver a winner, which could garner North American retail sales of about $15 million from August through December 2013, according to estimates by industry sources. The number for the second full year in North America is estimated at $20 million at retail. Sephora declined to comment.

Jacobs has designed everything from couture to Coke cans, infusing each with a sense of elegance and whimsy. He brings the same design sensibility to his new beauty collection, which will debut on Aug. 9 exclusively at Sephora, and select Marc Jacobs stores. The introduction of Jacobs’ collection will mark the first time Sephora has launched a brand simultaneously in all freestanding Sephora stores across the U.S. and Canada. It is also the brand’s largest proprietary brand launch in terms of units — and its first global launch, with plans to stretch across Europe and ultimately reach China.

“I’m surprised by how delighted I am with the results,” the designer said during an extensive interview with WWD earlier this month. “Now I want to see what the customer thinks. That’s the ultimate.”

Jacobs originally let the cosmetics collection news leak in an April 2012 interview with WWD, before he’d even had his first creative meeting with the retailer — and he makes no apologies for it. “Hey, ya know, I say what I say and I just talk freely — I’m not a good puppet,” he said.


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