NEW YORK -— At a time when many U.S. retailers are importing European products to provide a point of competitive difference, a French-based company has arrived on America’s shores with a turnkey private label program.
Gregory Mager, chief executive officer of Maesa in the U.S., has seen many private label programs succumb to market conditions in America, and he hopes his company and its business model will help retailers in all channels finally crack the proprietary beauty business.
To help oversee the corporate brand structure and primary brand message, Maesa linked up with New York branding agency CO-OP. Four components of the company were identified: turnkey manufacturing solutions, creative vision, complete customization and manufacturing excellence. The company’s offerings are also divided into four divisions, namely beauty, home fragrances, promotions and packaging. CO-OP helped form the branding of Maesa by examining its attributes versus the competition. “We decided to convey that they are beauty engineers, where art meets science,” said Paul Newman, co-founder of CO-OP. Added Jim Moran, also a co-founder, the goal was to present to clients the fact that Maesa can help proprietary lines succeed where others have faltered.
There are, of course, success models of retailers building successful private labels, such as Victoria’s Secret Beauty, Target’s Sonia Kashuk and Ulta’s house brand. But there are also programs that have been a slow build, often a victim of retailers trying to behave too much like marketers versus merchants. For the most part, the invasion of European skin care has been slow, most cosmetics lines from Europe haven’t hit full potential and some lines, such as Duane Reade’s Apt. 5, have been eliminated.
But Mager sees huge potential for private label and even cites how major chains have succeeded with Boots the Chemists from the U.K. even though it has limited recognition in America. But retailers, he suggested, have to turn the process over to experts and focus on what they do best — in-store presentation and promotion. His firm expanded in the U.S. two years ago and added to its New York office with the acquisition of a home fragrance company in Los Angeles. Headquarters are in Paris with offices in London and a facility in Shanghai. The acquisition added home fragrances to the portfolio including fragrance, color cosmetics and bath and body. “We really are a turnkey operation,” said Mager. Too often, retailers get mired in the marketing and conceptualization of house brands. That can be detrimental to success.”
Each customer needs a different approach, he added. For example, specialty apparel chains need to change the offer frequently and treat the category like accessories. These shoppers aren’t necessarily looking for something they’ll come back and buy. They want a one-time unique product. To that end, his firm can handle small quantities. “We have more than 3,000 products — none are the same,” he added about customization.
The cross-category function of Maesa is also key. The company can carry out a theme across everything from a beauty product to a home fragrance to a holiday gift assortment. He said the company will even work to secure an endorsement for the brand — a factor that can certainly make a hit item in today’s celebrity-driven market.
Recently, Maesa has been very involved in developing organic lines. In fact, the company created a line for Lloyd’s a United Kingdom drug chain called Your Organics.
Among Maesa’s clients are Laura Ashley, Super Drug, Galeries Lafayette, Asda, Carrefour, Pier One, Williams-Sonoma and West Elm. Mager believes there is huge potential in the mass market, even for home centers with house brand home fragrances. “I could see a Home Depot brand,” he added. “Imagine it with a famous designer as the spokesman. There’s so much that can be done.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye