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Tom Ford Makes Lauder Debut in Paris
PARIS — The extended Estée Lauder family just keeps on growing.
That seemed to be the case last Thursday when the venerable U.S. brand feted the imminent arrival of its Tom Ford Estée Lauder Amber Nude limited-edition fragrance and cosmetics collection here.
“How pregnant are you?” inquired veteran Lauder face Elizabeth Hurley to newcomer Gwyneth Paltrow at the launch party at hip boutique Colette. Paltrow, the recently appointed face of fragrance classic Pleasures, has been keeping mum on rumors that she and her rocker husband, Chris Martin, are expecting a second child. To wit, she shushed her colleague, but couldn’t help sharing a knowing smile.
“The planets have lined up,” quipped John Demsey, global brand president of Estée Lauder and MAC Cosmetics, of the star-studded guest list in town to celebrate Ford’s chic take on Lauder’s scent, Youth Dew, and its accompanying makeup line. Only Carolyn Murphy, who was working in Los Angeles, was a no-show at the soiree, which also included Aerin Lauder, the brand’s senior vice president of global creative directions.
“I think glamour is forever,” Ford told revelers. “The act of opening a compact is almost as glamorous as wearing it — it’s a meditative moment.”
The designer also reminisced about working on the Lauder project, which is to be followed by a second limited-edition Estée Lauder by Tom Ford collection for spring and a signature line in the fall.
“I don’t know if I have learned anything, but I had a lot of fun,” he said.
His first fragrance project for Lauder, Youth Dew Amber Nude, already is getting the thumbs-up from devotees.
“I love it,” said Paltrow. “I alternate between Pleasures and Youth Dew.”
In true British style, Hurley declared the line: “Exactly my cup of tea.”
And High Street shoppers seem to be giving it similar acclaim. Ford noted the collection, which was launched in the U.S. in November, already has almost sold out there, with some products now fetching big prices on eBay.
Demsey is expecting a similar, if not greater, response on this side of the pond. The fragrance was launched on an exclusive basis in Milan’s Rinascente Duomo Thursday night, where it will stay exclusive until February, when it will be rolled out to 700 Italian perfumeries.
“It may be more successful in Europe,” said Demsey, “because it’s a modern interpretation of something steeped in heritage.”
Demsey oversaw a reversal of that concept for MAC in the guise of classic beauty Catherine Deneuve collaborating on a limited-edition makeup for the uberhip brand. Deneuve joined the Lauder cast, including Jo Carole Lauder, for an after party at Caviar Kaspia, where Betty Catroux dazzled diners — and Ford — with her ability to perform splits.
Hurley, apparently, has had enough of parties for the moment — she nixed rumors that she and her other half, Arun Nayer, are set to walk down the aisle anytime soon.
“I’m neither engaged nor married,” she said. “It’s official, from the horse’s mouth.”
— Ellen Groves with contributions from Emilie Marsh and Stephanie Epiro
Fragrance Foundation Appointees
NEW YORK — The Fragrance Foundation has appointed a new chairman for next year — Donald J. Loftus, president and chief executive officer of P&G Prestige Products Inc., who succeeds Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, group president at the Estée Lauder Cos. The post comprises a three-year term.
The organization also has named five members to its seven-seat executive committee of the board. They are Loftus; Daniel Rachmanis, president of fine fragrances for the Americas at Firmenich; Debbie Murtha, senior vice president of cosmetics for Macy’s Merchandising Group; Thia Breen, president of Estée Lauder North America, and Nicolas Mirzayantz, senior vice president of the fine fragrances and beauty care division and regional manager of North America for International Flavors & Fragrances.
Additional Fragrance Foundation board appointees include Christine Beauchamp, co-president and general merchandise manager of Victoria’s Secret Beauty; Fabrice Weber, president of the Aramis and Designer Fragrances division of the Estée Lauder Cos.; Serge Jureidini, general manager of Giorgio Armani Cosmetics; John Galantic, president of Coty Beauty U.S.; Paul Austin, vice president and general manager of fine fragrance in North America for Quest International, and Jim Dellas, president of Drom Fragrances International.