By  on April 2, 2010

Napoleon Perdis the man is working to be secondary to Napoleon Perdis the well-rounded beauty brand.

“I am moving Napoleon Perdis to become a fully fledged cosmetics brand, as opposed to a makeup artist brand,” said Perdis, the Australian makeup artist of Greek descent whose headquarters are in Los Angeles. “I feel that women don’t want just a makeup artist, they want to have a solution that can work for them.”

A major step in the comprehensive direction is the Napoleon Complex Skin Renewal Serum, a May release with sodium hyaluronate for skin elasticity, provitamin B5 for moisture and a mix of Australian berry extracts for antioxidant benefits. The serum, made in Switzerland and priced at $65 for 1.35 oz., boosts the company’s presence in the skin care category, which the brand entered in 2008 with the Auto Pilot cleansing, toner and antiaging regime.

Perdis isn’t trying to replace women’s entire bathroom cabinets with his skin care, but instead provide customers unique individual items that supplement their existing stash. “It will be our most expensive [stockkeeping unit] in our line, but I really wanted to make a mark with my customer,” he said of the serum. “Napoleon Perdis skin care will be a customizing, cherry-picking experience with product that stands out.”

To further diversify the brand, a natural line rooted in indigenous cultures is in development that could launch as early as the fall, and a fragrance produced in-house is planned for next year. With the help of George Epaminondas, a former senior editor at InStyle who became vice president of brand creative two years ago, Perdis also has been focusing on enhancing the brand’s look in packaging, advertising and store presentation. “The idea of that is to enforce the art of the brand beyond makeup artistry and bring a degree of sophistication,” he said.

Perdis tapped The Royal Promotion Group to fashion an updated retail design that recently premiered with a new opulent shop-in-shop at David Jones in Melbourne. The design will be rolled out over two years at Napoleon Perdis stores, of which there will be 58 in Australia and New Zealand as of next week. “I wanted a look that celebrated classics and nostalgia as well as having a very strong edge,” said Perdis, noting his affection for Dorothy Draper and Helena Rubinstein.

In packaging, Astro Girl, a collection introduced last month of four $35 limited edition Prismatic Eye Shadow Quads representing fire, earth, water and air, showcases upgrades being made with transparent elements that are going to be used for eye products as well. For advertising, Perdis hired photographer Tony Duran to shoot the spring campaign. The company’s advertising budget increased 45 percent this year, and the brand is airing television commercials for the first time in local U.S. markets.

In 2009, Perdis said his revenues totaled about 120 million Australian dollars, or about $110 million at current exchange. That figure includes NP Set, which is priced 25 to 30 percent less than Napoleon Perdis. NP Set has been sold at Target since 2008, and notched $12.5 million in sales last year, according to Perdis. Perdis has signed on for another three years at Target with NP Set. Globally, he estimates his business will hit 135 million Australian dollars, or about $124 million, this year.

Sales in the U.S., where the line is carried in Ulta and, soon, at and, constitute roughly 18 percent of worldwide sales, but Perdis’ goal is to raise that to 30 to 35 percent in three years and 50 percent in five years. “We are a brand of the future,” asserted Perdis. “The customer is recognizing that. In the American marketplace, it is just a matter of expanding our distribution.”

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