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.”
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews