NEW YORK —?Fashion Week has its beauty all sewn up.
This story first appeared in the July 26, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This week, the CFDA signed long-term sponsorships with two L’Oréal-owned beauty brands: Shu Uemura and Redken. Both deals are three-year, six-season agreements. Shu Uemura will be the sole makeup sponsor, while Redken is the sole hair sponsor. Both brands declined to comment on financial terms of the contracts.
While Redken and Shu Uemura have had a presence at the shows in past seasons — both have been backstage sponsors for shows over the last several years, and Shu Uemura was the beauty sponsor for the tents last season —?both Erik Hoover, brand director for Shu Uemura, and Pat Parenty, senior vice president and general manager of Redken, see the expanded role as a way to maximize awareness of their respective brands.
“Being a part of the shows is a wonderful way to make consumers more aware of the brand, and we see the partnership between our brand and the shows as the perfect fit,” said Hoover. “It allows us to animate what Mr. Uemura is doing. The models and makeup artists all know who he is — this is a way to continue spreading the word.” In the U.S., the Shu Uemura brand, which was founded in the Sixties, is available at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Takashimaya, Sephora and select Nordstrom doors, as well as its own boutique.
Hoover noted that Shu Uemura tested the waters last season by signing on as the sole beauty sponsor three weeks before the shows, while also doing makeup for three shows: Jeremy Scott, B. Michael and Lloyd Klein. “Last season was a great learning experience — this year, we’ll be doing even more,” said Hoover.
According to Hoover, the initial involvement with the shows proved to be beneficial to the brand’s bottom line. “In addition to raising awareness for the brand, we also saw increased traffic in our SoHo boutique as a result,” he said. Showgoers last season, in addition to enjoying beauty touch-ups and previews of new makeup colors, were given bounce-back cards in an effort to encourage them to head to the boutique. The bounce-back cards were distributed both at the Bryant Park Tents and at the Puck Building. This season, the brand has already decided to preview a new mascara, a new concealer and a new loose powder, all of which will bow in the U.S. this fall.
Parenty, whose professional-only Redken brand has been involved with such shows as Gen Art, Margie Tsai and James Purcell in past seasons, sees a number of benefits to the deal.
“There’s a huge connection there,” Parenty said, adding that in addition to being the overall hair sponsor, Redken is currently in discussions with specific designers for involvement in their shows. “Being a part of the shows allows us to build and enhance our credibility in the industry, as well as capitalize on trends and bring those to our artistic team and to our salons. We have the chance to bring colors and styles to our team and to help them translate those to the public.”
During show week, Redken will also have a booth in the tents staffed by artistic team members, where the brand will offer hair color and styling consultations and product samples.
The two heads of brands aren’t the only ones who are enthusiastic about the deal: Shu Uemura, speaking from his home in Japan, also gave the deal the long-distance thumbs-up: “I am very pleased to have the Shu Uemura brand as the exclusive cosmetics sponsor of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week,” he said. “Fashion Week is a showcase of creative endeavors from both the established and emerging talent that New York has to offer. Essentially, Fashion Week is a birth and evolution of new ideas; since the beginning of my career I have always been interested in the birth of some new idea. I then strive for the quality and authenticity that will shape that idea into a product or tool.”””