Lancôme, Aveda Shift Focus to Emerging Designers
NEW YORK — Two of beauty's biggest brands are aiming to give a hand (not to mention hair, makeup and products) to emerging designers this season.

Lancôme and Aveda, both of whom have worked with heavy-hitting apparel brands during past seasons, are focusing their efforts on the not-so-well-known names this time around. It's a strategy that Shiseido also has followed for the past few seasons. Lancôme is exclusively working with emerging designers this season, while Aveda is focusing most strongly on the indies — and also tossing in a few mainstream brands, such as Badgley Mischka and Diesel, this time around.

Lancôme's choices this season are Project Alabama and Rag & Bone, both of which also are being supported by Aveda's hair stylists, as well as Behnaz Sarafpour, Peter Som and Thakoon. Gucci Westman, who is Lancôme's international artistic director, is the key makeup artist at all five shows.

"We felt we could bring more to the table with these designers than with established ones," said Eric Lauzat, president of Lancôme in the U.S., a division of Paris-based L'Oréal. The brand is exclusively working with emerging designers this season. "For example, access to an artist of Gucci's stature — for many of the young designers, that's not feasible financially [without help]. Also, It's all about inspiration. There is so much creativity and energy coming from the emerging designer community right now. It's exciting to help these new forces in fashion."

For her part, Westman says that she gets motivated by the mix of clothes, models and the themes of the various shows.

Aveda, which initially became involved with the New York shows during fall-winter 2004, is also supporting a number of indie designers this season, including Sandoval, Tibi, Linda Loudermilk and the aforementioned Rag & Bone and Project Alabama.

"We're approaching designers whose values overlap with Aveda's," said Jessica Barlow, the brand's director of fashion and media. "In particular, we're looking to support designers who are ecologically responsible, and we often have a better chance of finding those values among less-established designers. There's a chance to connect with and influence the designers in that way. We're not shutting out mainstream designers, but we're making more of an effort to also support the smaller brands."
— Julie Naughton Lacroix's Colorful Tumulte
PARIS — Inter Parfums hopes it has captured Christian Lacroix's flamboyant aesthetic in the designer's latest fragrance, dubbed Tumulte.

"We had to go after the real core values of the brand," said Philippe Benacin, president and chief executive officer of Inter Parfums SA. He described Lacroix's world as being "baroque, colorful and full of details."

To wit, Tumulte is a flurry of color and baroque touches. Designed by Federico Restrepo, its rounded red bottle is decorated with gold-colored print and topped with a clear, faceted cap. Advertising, which was created by Publicis, features Argentinean beauty Melissa Gonzales wearing an ornate gown.

Quest International's Françoise Caron mixed the floral scent, which has top notes of green Sicilian mandarin, freesia and rosewater; heart notes of rose from Grasse, heliotrope and iris, and drydown notes of musk and tonka bean.

The eau de parfum will be available as 30, 50 and 100-ml. sprays that are to retail for 35 euros, 45 euros and 65 euros, or $42.90, $55.20 and $79.70 at current exchange rates, respectively.

Industry sources estimate Tumulte will make 3 million euros to 3.5 million euros, or $3.7 million to $4.3 million, in ex-factory sales in the first three months. It is set to bow in some Western European, Eastern European and Middle Eastern doors this month. A further introduction there is planned for February and March 2006.
— Brid Costello

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