LONDON — To create its latest makeup collection, called FCUK Vanity, British fashion brand French Connection didn’t watch what the rest of the beauty industry was doing.
Instead, it drew inspiration fromart stores and sweetshops.
“We looked at paint and art shops, and we loved that sexy, playful style of pick-and-mix shopping, so we tied the two together to create FCUK Vanity,” said FCUK’s beauty and cosmetic manager, Sophie Green.
As part of a licensing agreement signed in June 2000 with British retailer Boots, French Connection has created a 25-stockkeeping-unit color cosmetics line including eye powders and creams, concealers and blushers to replace French Connection’s existing makeup line, FC Face. Distribution will be restricted to Boots and French Connection stores in Britain and Ireland.
Launched in 1996, FC Face will be replaced by FCUK Vanity in Boots stores by mid-October and rolled out to all French Connection stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland by 2004.
“FC Face was just a natural extension of a successful fashion brand,” said Sophie Green.
“FCUK Vanity is a bit more premium-priced and has more on the design side, and has injected more of the FCUK attitude into the range. We really wanted to do something a lot more special, we wanted it to be more sexy,” Green added.
French Connection has worked sexy elements into product names — with lip glosses named Panting and Busty Beige.
The line’s packaging is transparent.Magnetic eye pods can be opened by pressing together a clasp, and lipsticks have a flip top. Green said the packaging makes the new line more desirable.
“The packaging is so great you just want to have one in your handbag. We wanted to make the magnetic pods flexible so that you could pick and mix your own colors for the weekend. We liked the idea that you could stick it on the fridge and the mirror — it’s really fun and playful,” Green said
Green added the firm also worked on packs containing several pods, entitled Rescue Me and Pull Me, which fit into special merchandising stands developed for display.“The merchandising is fabulous. We thought about columns of jelly beans and added the play element to it, so there is soft pink lighting and products that hang in bags on the side. We’ll have packs available for Christmas like the Rescue Me kit that is for the day after and will contain a concealer, a nude lip gloss and a nude eye shadow,” Green said.
Green wouldn’t put an amount on how much sales volume the cosmetics line is expected to generate in its first year, saying merely: “We’re hoping it will do very well.” Industry sources, however, estimate the line could do about $15.7 million, or 10 million pounds, at retail in its first year. Dollars have been converted from the pound at current exchange rates.
French Connection reported a 2003 turnover of $380.1 million, a 12.7 percent rise over 2002.
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“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
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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