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NEW YORK — The latest stop on Jean Paul Gaultier’s launch tour for his new men’s cosmetics line, called Tout Beau Tout Propre, was Macy’s Herald Square Monday, where the designer made an appearance at noon to mark the launch of the collection.
Sources expected the Macy’s event, his first such appearance in four years, to drive sales of the entire Gaultier beauty brand close to $12,000 on the day in that door, with 35 percent of that figure generated by the makeup. Many customers — men and women alike — who stopped at Gaultier’s table at the Macy’s appearance, held bottles of the designer’s Le Male fragrance to be autographed.
Last week, Gaultier was among a number of designers and celebrities to promote their beauty businesses when he appeared Wednesday evening at his Madison Avenue boutique for an invitation-only gathering as a warm-up for Monday’s cosmetics launch.
Meanwhile, 10 blocks further up the East Side, Jennifer Lopez strutted into a throng of beauty press at a private event for her Still fragrance.
Then, on Thursday, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana arrived at Saks Fifth Avenue to launch their new fragrance, Sicily, as reported. That morning, Lil’ Kim had shown up at a QVC launch event for a cosmetics collection by celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes.
Lopez, who spent Wednesday afternoon meeting privately with beauty advisers at Macy’s Herald Square, also met with Hal Kahn, chairman and ceo of Macy’s East, and Terry Lundgren, ceo of Federated Department Stores.
Gaultier talked frankly at his boutique appearance about sales of the men’s cosmetics assortment so far: “[It’s] not a big surprise that people would think [men’s] makeup would be gay. But we know already that, in France, for example, 90 percent of the people who buy it are straight.”
When asked if American men are ready for makeup, Gaultier replied, “American men are more open. [They] are taking care of themselves more and more.” Gaultier added: “The purpose was not to copy makeup for women. The idea is not to look feminine but to accentuate things like the color of your eyes, or your complexion — to look your best, confident.”
By yearend, the men’s makeup will be carried in a handful of U.S. doors, including Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street and a few Neiman Marcus doors, according to Maggie Ciafardini, executive vice president and general manager of licensee Beauté Prestige International. By next year, she expects it to be in 50 doors in the U.S., including Sephora and Marshall Field’s. “It’s a very important niche for us because we’re definitely addressing a need in the market. The metrosexual is here. Whereas a man used to borrow his wife’s concealer, now the women can borrow her husband’s concealer.”
— Matthew W. Evans
NEW YORK — Elizabeth Arden Inc. will close and sell its Miami Lakes, Fla., distribution center and consolidate all shipping, warehousing, logistics and fulfillment functions in its recently expanded center in Roanoke, Va., by March 2004.
The move is expected to result in about a 10 percent reduction in Arden’s U.S. workforce, which currently numbers approximately 1,000, and pretax charges of about $3.5 million related to severance benefits, outplacement services and other provisions for the affected employees. These charges will begin to be realized in the fourth quarter of the company’s fiscal year, which ends in January 2004.
Proceeds from the sale of the Florida building are expected to be sufficient to repay its mortgage, as well as the one-time severance and restructuring costs.
Savings from the consolidation are expected to amount to between $2 million and $4 million next year and between $4 million and $6 million annually thereafter. In a statement, Scott Beattie, Arden’s chief executive, noted the firm “remains committed to South Florida, as it will remain the home of our corporate headquarters” and also house certain sales, marketing, finance and other corporate functions.
— Arnold J. Karr