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Vera Wang is planting her flag in a new business: color cosmetics.
This story first appeared in the March 9, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Wang, along with the BeautyBank division of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., will release a 74-stockkeeping-unit color collection in April. Exclusive to Kohl’s and kohls.com, the Simply Vera Vera Wang color line complements the designer’s multifaceted brand with the retailer.
“It completes my Kohl’s universe,” said the designer during an exclusive interview at her apparel showroom. Wang’s extensive offerings with Kohl’s include women’s apparel, handbags, jewelry, sunglasses, footwear, sleepwear, outerwear and home goods. She has worked with the retailer since 2007. “Also, a pop of color is such a gorgeous way to let your natural beauty shine through. It’s the ultimate accessory.”
“Vera Wang brings legitimacy to color cosmetics first and foremost because she is a woman,” said Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, global brand president of Aramis and Designer Fragrances, BeautyBank and Idea Bank at Lauder. “She is a woman designing for women — and very often on their wedding day, a day when they want to feel their most beautiful. Vera’s approach to beauty is very much in line with her approach and aesthetics in fashion. It’s about enhancing a woman’s natural beauty by creating a perfect skin canvas, and then allowing the woman to express her personality and embellish through color. The Simply Vera Vera Wang Cosmetics collection gives her the platform and the opportunity to connect with them even further by completing the full Simply Vera Vera Wang lifestyle experience for them at Kohl’s.”
Many of the products, which range in price from $16.50 to $39.50, straddle the line between color and treatment — a necessity for Wang, who is religious about protecting her skin, she said, noting that it also “creates the perfect canvas” for colors to follow. Illuminating Concealer, $19.50, brightens skin; Lash Enhancing Serum, $39.50, is designed to boost lash length and volume over time, and Soothing Balm, $18.50, is intended to be both reparative and decorative. Eye shadow duos retail for $19.50 apiece, while smoothing lip colors are $18.50. “Kohl’s has brands that are broken down into good, better and best,” said Julie Howard, senior vice president of global marketing and new brand development for BeautyBank. “This brand is in their best range.”
The color cosmetics are in black, many in compacts with windows that allow the colors inside to be viewed, while outer packaging is of the midtone blue used in the labels of Wang’s Simply Vera apparel line.
As for the future, Wang said her two daughters, Cecilia and Josephine, are pushing her to add nail polish to the lineup next (“It’s an obsession in my home,” she said wryly), and palettes and more color cosmetics are also on her to-do list.
While executives declined comment on projected sales, industry sources estimated that the collection would do between $15 million and $20 million in the U.S. in its first year on counter, with global expansion a possibility after the line’s U.S. rollout.
In the U.S., national advertising will begin in May fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, said Howard.