Catherine Zeta-Jones has a vested interest — quite literally — in Elizabeth Arden.
"I'm a stockholder, not just the face," said the Academy Award-winning actress, clad in a formfitting Oscar de la Renta navy dress and towering black patent Giuseppe Zanotti stilettos ("I don't know how I walk in these, I'm more used to flip-flops!") during an interview at the St. Regis hotel Thursday afternoon.
While noting that the nearly century-old beauty brand has always been a classic, Zeta-Jones credited Scott Beattie, chairman and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden Inc., with making over what was once a slumbering dowager of a brand into a more youthful version. "Scott has worked hard to give this brand a younger, fresher look," said Zeta-Jones, "and it has worked. He's zapped it up in a new direction. It's been exciting to see that over the last six years of our partnership, which has been very collaborative — I've had input on [ad] campaigns, and brought some of my own people in to do the styling."
She's particularly fond of an upcoming campaign for the brand's Color Intrigue Effects lipstick line. Shot by Michael Thompson, Zeta-Jones joked that she looks like, "I should be in a more modern version of 'Valley of the Dolls.' But after doing this for six years, I think that's good. It's different, it's not like, 'oh, there's Catherine Zeta-Jones again!'"
Zeta-Jones was signed to her spokeswoman role in February 2002, at a time when Arden's fortunes were decidedly mixed. Sales were floundering, and Elizabeth Taylor was the youngest spokeswoman on the roster. The Welsh beauty was the first in a string of celebrities that Beattie would sign — Hilary Duff, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears were among those who followed.
"Catherine's been an icon — her elegance and beauty characterizes what we want Arden to be," said Beattie, noting that signing Zeta-Jones made a younger generation sit up and take notice of his brand. "She's been a great partner."
What the deal is not likely to yield, despite Arden's prowess in the celebrity fragrance market, is a Catherine Zeta-Jones fragrance. "We've made a conscious decision about that, because I am the face and spokesperson for Arden," she said. "I think we're all in unison that if it's not broke, why fix it." Also, she noted about endorsements, "Things have completely changed. It used to be, if you're an actor, why are you selling stuff? People only used to do it in Japan. But beauty is an industry that makes complete sense for an actress."Zeta-Jones is off to Australia today for a four-day jaunt promoting "Death Defying Acts," her latest film ("I'm very lucky — I can sleep on planes, which drives my husband nuts because he can't!") and said she will continue work on a script for "Racing the Monsoon," an adventure film that will also feature her husband, Michael Douglas. "We don't play lovers — he actually hates me in the movie, which is even better," she said with a laugh.
Her dream project? "I'm working to do a movie about Lana Turner," she said, adding that she is developing the project with a screenwriter. "My father-in-law [actor Kirk Douglas] worked with Lana Turner [on the 1952 drama 'The Bad and the Beautiful,'] so I have a lot of background stories and information about her. It was really a crazy life when you think about it — her daughter stabbing her lover."
Earlier Thursday, Zeta-Jones snipped the ribbon on Arden's updated Fifth Avenue flagship, and had breakfast with beauty editors to help introduce the aforementioned Color Intrigue Effects lipstick, which will bow in the U.S. at the end of May.
According to Elizabeth Park, executive vice president of global marketing and general manager of Elizabeth Arden U.S., Color Intrigue Effects' cocktail of three advanced esters is what sets it apart from other lipsticks in the Arden portfolio.
Added Bonnie Beer, vice president of global color marketing for Elizabeth Arden, "These esters, which comprise our proprietary triple emollient technology, make this formula immediately moisturizing and long-lasting."
The 18 shades Arden will release in the U.S. are broken down into three finish families: shimmer, cream and high-impact pearls. Each will retail for $19.50. Globally, 22 shades will be sold.
Color Intrigue Effects will be available in about 2,000 U.S. department and specialty store doors.
National print advertising will begin running in July fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines. Arden also plans an intensive sampling campaign, with more than one million pieces planned. About half of those will be samplers that preview all three lipstick finishes, said Beer. A new counter merchandising tower is also on deck, as is an extensive Internet marketing campaign.While executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that the Color Intrigue Effects lineup would generate global retail sales of $10 million, with about $4 million of that figure expected to be done in the U.S. Sources estimated that Arden will spend $4 million globally on advertising and promotional efforts.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion