By and  on February 13, 2009

Giorgio Armani Beauty has named Linda Cantello as its international makeup artist.

In her new role, Cantello will help to develop color cosmetics products with Armani’s beauty licensee, L’Oréal, and will continue to serve as the key makeup artist at the designer’s ready-to-wear shows.

“There’s no limit and so much creativity with her on board,” said Stephane de la Faverie, general manager of Giorgio Armani Beauty, who declined comment on the terms of Cantello’s contract. “I can’t wait to see all the amazing colors and textures that will come from Linda’s creative spirit.” De la Faverie said Cantello will enhance the line and likely add more to the lip and eye categories. “Linda will build upon and maintain the essence of the brand, which is foundation, but she’ll add such newness.”

Cantello’s influence will be evident in products, which will hit counters this spring and fall, according to de la Faverie, who noted that despite the current financial climate, Giorgio Armani Beauty’s revenue continued to grow in 2008. “2009 will be a great new adventure,” said de la Faverie. “It is going to be more important than ever to innovate. People are still willing to spend when they are seduced by an exceptional product.”

And product development is nothing new to Cantello: she launched her own eponymous color cosmetics collection in the spring of 2001. “For me, it’s like being a kid in a candy store,” she said of working in the L’Oréal labs on the Armani cosmetics. “I say ‘I want this,’ and five minutes later, I have it.”

Cantello is now testing her first full-blown Armani creation, a lip-color line, expected to launch in October. Her influence will likely be felt by the end of this spring, as she was involved in the creation of a few products set for a late-spring launch, noted de la Faverie.

Cantello, who has done Armani’s shows the past four seasons and admits to having kept “a half eye” on the line since its inception, said she looks forward to creating new concepts for the Armani brand. “I want to make things that don’t exist,” she said. “There’s no point in doing something that’s already been done.”

Since its launch in 2001, the brand has gone from two U.S. retail doors to around 100. De la Faverie said he hopes to continue expansion within Giorgio Armani Beauty’s existing U.S. distribution at retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, while adding some specialty stores.

“We want to be the benchmark in luxury cosmetics,” said Roberta Girodot, international director of image and communications for Giorgio Armani Beauty. “Linda will bring all of her knowledge and expertise to the brand. She is a trendsetter and an amazing professional."

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