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Stella McCartney Signs With Procter & Gamble Prestige

In less than a month after parting ways with L’Oréal, the designer has found a new home for her beauty business.

In less than a month after parting ways with L’Oréal, Stella McCartney has found a new home for her beauty business — Procter & Gamble Co.

This story first appeared in the June 14, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The P&G Prestige division, based in Geneva, has signed a long-term beauty license with McCartney, which will be effective Sept. 13, the designer’s birthday.

As previously reported on May 21, McCartney and L’Oréal mutually decided not to renew their license agreement. That old agreement will officially expire on Sept. 12.

L’Oréal had acquired the McCartney business in May 2008 as part of its deal to purchase the parent YSL Beauté from PPR (now known as Kering) for 1.15 billion euros, or $1.48 billion at current exchange. The beauty brand included what was then billed as the first organic-based designer skin-care line, called Care. The skin-care venture had already been put on hold in lieu of developing the fragrance business. McCartney had launched her signature scent, Stella, in 2003, followed by L.I.L.Y. in 2012.

Luigi Feola, vice president of global prestige, said it is too early to discuss details of future plans. However, he intends to develop the existing business while focusing on building fragrances.

He maintains that McCartney will strongly complement P&G’s portfolio. It adds a British personality to the mix and is not only global in scope, but has a reputation as an ethical luxury brand. McCartney is a lifelong vegan and P&G has been studying ways to eliminate animal testing since the Eighties. P&G indicated that it not only wants to build the brand on a global basis, but intends to ultimately nurture McCartney into a full-fledged beauty house.

“We are always looking for brands of high potential,” Feola said, adding that P&G has continued its strategy of paring its portfolio down to fewer but bigger brands. In the last 24 months, P&G has discontinued five licenses. The last deal it added was the James Bond license in 2011.