NEW YORK — Essie Cosmetics founder Essie Weingarten has aspirations of nailing down more beauty business this year.
Weingarten, who founded the nail care business that bears her name in 1981, is laying the groundwork for expanding her already established international business — and also plans to add a line of ancillary products for manicures later this month.
The company is arguably best known for Ballet Slippers, a pale pink nail polish that is ubiquitous on nail stations around the globe. But while the company produces upwards of 200 shades and introduces new colors every 90 days, Weingarten is hoping to become equally well-known for her new line.
The five-item collection includes Nail Wipes, $14, a container of tissues impregnated with polish remover; Nail Pads, $10, lint-free pads intended to be used in tandem with polish remover; The Nail Corrector, $12, a tool that is designed to clean excess polish from the sides of nails during or after a manicure; The Cuticle Pen, $12, a cuticle softener and moisturizer, and The Crystal File, $12, a crystal nail file which is intended to keep natural nails from splitting and peeling.
Although Weingarten wouldn’t comment on projected sales for the new products, industry sources estimated that the five new products would do about $10 million at retail globally in their first year on counter.
Weingarten is also keeping an eye on international markets. Her products are currently available in about 50 countries, including Japan, Canada, Australia and most of the nations of Europe and South America. The brand’s U.S. distribution currently includes more than 50,000 salons and spas, including Bliss, Canyon Ranch and the Golden Door. Internationally, the brand is sold through distributors. Although the brand has a Web site, it does not feature e-commerce.
Japan, one of the first global markets for the brand, continues to be one of its strongest international businesses, said Weingarten, who also has aspirations of expanding her Asian business into China. “I’d like to be in every country,” said Weingarten, who was recently named to Cosmetics Executive Women’s 2004 Achiever Award list. “International nail business is booming; the category is growing in importance globally. The world is getting smaller.”—?J.N.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia