By  on August 14, 2009

It may not seem ideal to launch a $750 night cream in this economy, but after seven years of research on a new product called Supremÿa, upscale cosmetics brand Sisley says the timing is right.

“Some people say it’s not a good time, but we will see,” Arnaud Naintré, president of Sisley Americas, said of the launch of Supremÿa, which is due in September. The 1.7-oz. pump bottle is designed to last three to four months. “We are ready to launch it after seven years,” he said, adding, “I think we’ll have a very good answer from our customer.”

He noted that the amount of research and development and the type of ingredients that went into the product are the factors that eventually determined the price of Supremÿa.

The antiaging facial skin cream contains a patent pending ingredient called Phyto-Complex LC 12 and is designed to reach DNA in the skin in order to help skin cells regenerate. The complex comprises four botanical active ingredients and claims to protect DNA so that genetic aging is delayed.

“We’re now reaching the DNA level to alter a natural process,” said Naintré, who added that treatment is the firm’s core business.

Executives of the family-owned, privately held firm, which is based in Paris, contended that 70 percent of the appearance of aging is caused by external factors, such as UV damage, while 30 percent of aging is genetic. Supremÿa is designed to combat both in all skin types.

“This stands alone as our flagship product,” said marketing and operations manager Dean Robert, “and it will be our flagship product going forward. The value is in the performance of the product.”

The intended benefits of the cream, which is designed to be used nightly, are to extend of the lifespan of existing skin cells and to boost the skin’s own regeneration process, according to executives. These benefits are supposed to then result in wrinkle filling, skin plumping and enhanced skin radiance and hydration.

In testing of the formulation, Sisley found that over eight weeks of nightly use, the appearance of wrinkles declined by 11 percent. Also, in vitro testing showed that over a nine-day period, skin explants treated with the Supremÿa formulation appeared to age at half the rate as untreated explants.

Supremÿa will be launched at Sisley’s 100 points of sale in the U.S. This highly limited distribution network includes Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman stores. There are also plans for launches at a few Nordstrom locations and Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in New York.

“Our clientele is shopping mainly in those top doors,” said Naintré.

Industry sources estimate Supremÿa could ring up first-year retail sales of $4 million in the U.S.

In order to promote Supremÿa, deluxe samples will be given out to Sisley’s “core customers” beginning this month, said Robert. Additionally, visuals are to appear in retailer catalogues.

“Sampling, service and taking care of our core customer — that’s where we invest our [resources],” said Naintré.

Internationally, the Sisley brand is carried in 85 to 90 countries, and, in France the brand is carried in some 1,200 doors.

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