Even in a tough economy, YSL Beaute is determined to give the high-end beauty market a little lip this month — with the launch of Gloss Pur lip gloss, its newest lip range. And the brand doesn’t plan to stop at the lips.
“We have seen double-digit growth in lip products and with fragrances, such as our L’Homme, even in this tough economy,” said Marc Rey, chief executive officer and managing director of YSL Beauté in the U.S. “Certainly, the economy is very tough and getting more so, and nobody is immune. But globally, we had a very good 2008 and were very positive in growth. According to NPD, we were up 5 percent globally, and the market was down 6.4 percent.” Those figures do not include the brand’s sales on QVC and in certain retailers who don’t participate in NPD, such as Neiman Marcus and certain online vendors, he noted.
“We have a strong pipeline of innovation for this coming year, of which Gloss Pur is the first,” continued Rey. “It is our aim this year to get market share, to do clever initiatives with our specialty store partners and look for ways to attract new customers. We are sticking to our values: no compromise with innovation or quality, and maintaining a high level of investment. We are choosing our battles.”
The gloss launch follows what the company described as the successful September launch of Rouge Volupté lipstick. “Rouge Volupté, in particular, has been a standout for us,” said Rey. “The texture is amazing, the case is very luxurious — it has very high perceived value, and although it is not cheap, it is selling very well. Our customer might not buy three lipsticks at once, but she will still buy one — because for $34 [for Rouge Volupté] she can still have that luxury.”
And Rey is hoping consumers will have the same reaction to Gloss Pur, which is a new variation on the brand’s top-selling Golden Gloss. While Golden Gloss includes 24-karat gold flecks, Gloss Pur, rolling out now, provides more of a glaze. Six shades are offered, ranging from a sheer nude shade to a plum hue; each is lightly scented with mango. Each retails for $29 and, like all of YSL’s color cosmetics, is available in the brand’s approximately 300 Beauté doors in the U.S.
YSL Beauté launched a limited edition Gloss Pur in black — showcased on models in the house’s ready-to-wear show for fall-winter 2008 — which sparked a boom of black lip shades in the market this past fall.
While Rey is all for gaining new customers, he isn’t aiming to drastically increase the number of doors in the U.S. — although 30 Sephora locations were added to the brand’s door count last September. “We chose to add selected Sephora doors because Sephora tends to attract a different consumer than a Neiman Marcus or a Saks Fifth Avenue; it will not cannibalize our business in those doors, but will bring the products to someone new,” he said. “We are also working closely with our specialty store doors to do clever initiatives with them.”
It’s been a busy year for YSL Beauté, which L’Oréal acquired from PPR in May 2008 for 1.15 billion euros. In that deal, L’Oréal also gained the licenses for the Stella McCartney, Oscar de la Renta, Boucheron and Ermenegildo Zegna beauty brands.
Renaud de Lesquen, president of YSL Beauté globally, hinted to WWD in October that the YSL Beauté team hopes to launch a new skin care line by 2010 and an organic fragrance for Stella McCartney. “To me, YSL Beauté is a brand of surprises,” de Lesquen said at that time. “Daring is the founding cornerstone of the YSL brand.”
As for worries about the economy, de Lesquen called the situation “a new adventure.”
“Everyone is conscious of the difficulties, but everyone is determined and very excited. We won’t let the gray environment pull us down,” he said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast