NEW YORK —?Estée Lauder has unveiled the latest step in its continuing strategy to modernize the brand: the implementation of a new national makeup artist program, headed by celebrity makeup artist Paul Starr.

“This program is a natural step in the brand’s evolution,” noted Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, group president in charge of the Estée Lauder brand for the Estée Lauder Cos. Bousquet-Chavanne often has spoken of his desire to broaden the reach of the venerable brand. “We think this will be a buzz-generating move for the Estée Lauder brand, and we hope that we’ll be trailblazers, as well. It makes sense in other ways, too. Makeup is the fastest-growing product segment for us and it doesn’t just take great products to do strong business —?it also takes great skills. Under Paul Starr’s leadership, I’m confident that the team will not only implement consistent, buzz-generating techniques, but will also contribute important feedback for future product initiatives.” For its first generation at least, Bousquet-Chavanne added, the program will be limited to North America.

Starr, a 20-year veteran of the industry who has worked with stars ranging from Sophia Loren and Michelle Pfeiffer to Madonna, Meg Ryan and Renée Zellweger, will lead a 15-member team that will teach consumers celebrity makeup techniques during in-store private appointments, noted Daniel Annese, vice president of marketing, North America, for Estée Lauder.

Starr will train the team and will be responsible for the overall guidance of the artists. The three premier makeup artists will be exclusive to Lauder’s top specialty store doors at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Rick DiCecca will be based at Saks, while Lana Call and Vincent DaMon will be based at Neiman Marcus.

The bulk of the team, however, will be based in the brand’s department stores in major markets, said Annese. This team —with a diverse slate of work backgrounds including TV, national print advertising and film —?includes Janell Basilio, Thomas Class, Tim Dedinsky, Mitch Ely, Christopher Fulton, Beau Harang, Anne Hullenaar, Jennifer Kochenour, Dawn Newsome, John Rodriguez, Fere Shirvani and Tammy Slider.

Each team member will be assigned to a specific geographic area to ensure that all markets are well represented, and at each store visit, hundreds of prebooked appointments are planned, said Annese. The first appearances will take place at the end of July, kicking off Lauder’s fall slate of products.“People are hungry to learn how to use products, and especially to learn the techniques that celebrities use,” said Annese, who noted that the brand’s market research has shown this to be a universal desire across all age users of the brand.

For his part, Starr — who also has worked on Estée Lauder advertising projects including print ads for Beautiful and skin care — is excited to get started. “We’re working together this week on training,” he noted, “and I know that once we’re done with that, we are going to be doing some very special events together as a tight-knit, cohesive team. I can’t wait.”

—?Julie Naughton


PARIS — What prestige beauty brand was the worldwide bestseller last year? Lancôme, according to Guillaume de Lesquen, the brand’s deputy managing director, who claimed Clinique and Estée Lauder placed a very close second and third, respectively. To obtain the results, de Lesquen said Lancôme’s parent company, L’Oréal, added together beauty sales generated by five tracking firms — European Forecast, for Europe; Segmenta, for Latin America; Generation, for travel retail; Kokusai for Japan, and NPD for the U.S. “It’s the first year [since L’Oréal started generating the ranking in 2000] that Lancôme has been number one,” said de Lesquen, who added the brand’s positioning was boosted by its strong makeup sales last year. So what does The Estée Lauder Cos., owner of Clinique and Estée Lauder, think about the news? “There’s not enough reliable data around the world to comment one way or another,” said an Estée Lauder Cos. spokeswoman.

— Jennifer Weil


NEW YORK —The Kenneth Turner London brand, which began as a flower shop in that city 30 years ago, has launched its first beauty collection, a six-item bath and body assortment called Nature/Nurture. The line reachedBergdorf Goodman last week, where plans call for it to be carried exclusively through Thanksgiving. Nature/Nurture, an extension of the Kenneth Turner London brand, which is owned by Molton Brown and also encompasses candles and home accessories, is divided into three sub-collections: “Soothing,” “Nourishing” and “Stimulating.” Nature/Nurture ranges in price from $29 to $33, and industry sources project it could generate first-year retail sales of $750,000.— Matthew W. Evans

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