How Lancome’s gucci westman creates an overnight color sensation—complete with a mile-long waiting list—season after season.
In the spring of 2006, Lancôme’s international artistic director, Gucci Westman, created a red lipstick for Behnaz Sarafpour’s fall collection. The color, which was marketed as a limited edition shade in the fall of that year, sold out before it could even hit counters and created a frenzy among bloggers, beauty mavens and fashionistas alike. The $21 lipstick turned up on eBay in the days that followed priced at $103.50. And thus the brand’s Pout-à-Porter project was born.
One year and two more similarly successful shades later, Lancôme and Westman are hard at work on their fourth color, this time for the hot young designer Thakoon Panichgul. Three days before Panichgul’s spring 2008 show, Westman and the designer conducted a makeup test to decide on the color. “I’ve always loved lipstick that you can throw on,” says Panichgul. “Like you’re done surfing and you just want to put on a little bit of color.”
Working with the show’s theme of “a Japanese girl who goes to Hawaii,” Westman decided on a fuchsia stain to highlight the fresh-from-the-beach glow she planned on giving the models. She mixed together three creamy textured colors: beige, beige-colored rose and a bright, blue-based fuchsia. “It’s the sheerest color we’ve done yet for the project,” says Westman, “but it’s perfect for Thakoon. His girl is about minimal makeup.”
After the show was over, samples of the three hues were sent to Lancôme’s shade development labs in New Jersey. A prototype was created and sent to both Westman and Panichgul for approval. Both agreed that the initial sample was too fuchsia and pearlescent, so two more samples were created, one of which was instantaneously agreed upon (see the sample above). Two thousand of the as-yet-unnamed color will now go into production as a Color Fever Shine lipstick, set to hit counters in February for $24 each. If past performance is any indication, they won’t be there long—waiting lists for the lipstick are now de rigueur.
“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