NEW YORK — During a six-year stint as a Wal-Mart merchandiser, Chris McClain said he developed a feel for what consumers would like.And through his father — a one-time Helena Rubinstein sales executive — he became intrigued with the beauty industry. So it should come as no surprise that McClain would take a crack at creating beauty products himself. And he has.In January 2001, McClain left the retail world to become a manufacturer, joining Dallas-based Naterra International as president. He brought with him a concept for a milk-based skin-care line and along with the firm’s chief executive officer Jin Song, who is also a chemist, made it a reality. It was not a unique idea — there are others on the market, like specialty store Fresh’s collection and Almay’s Milk Plus. But McClain said Naterra, which means "of the earth," would emphasize the use of natural ingredients and push hard to make its Skin Milk brand the dominant milk line at mass. Skin Milk made its debut in a test at Wal-Mart in July 2001, and then became available to retailers nationwide in February of 2002. From a startup set of four items, there are now 14. The most recent additions being a facial exfoliator, body scrub and an antibacterial hand wash. "They all have milk properties, like milk proteins and whey," remarked McClain, adding, "It [the line] is loaded with vitamins." The milk ingredients deliver dual benefits. Milk proteins help soften skin while whey "trap moisture" resulting in plumper skin, which diminishes the appearances of wrinkles, said McClain. Core items include a facial moisturizer, foaming face wash, shower gel and body lotion. Suggested retails range from $4.99 to $5.99.Currently, the line is in some 5,000 retail doors, but in five years, "We want it to be in all mass retail doors — 100 percent," McClain declared. Counting drugstores and discounters alone, that means about 20,000 stores. He said the line, which generally targets women aged 25 to 55, really has two distinct audiences. "The 18- to 25-year-olds like the packaging because it looks fresh and clean, and the 40-plus group likes the products because of their firming properties." The line’s white and blue packaging borrows elements of milk bottles. The fresh scent, reminiscent of vanilla, is called French Cream.The company is considering doing its first advertising campaign in 2003, but in the meantime to draw attention to Skin Milk, the focus is on in-store displays and promotions, like buy two items get one free. For Christmas, it offered a gift set with a shower caddy containing three items and a cow-shaped bath sponge. Sources predict Skin Milk will reap retail sales in excess of $10 million by yearend 2003. Its closest mass competitor — Almay’s Milk Plus — logged retail sales of less than half that in 2002.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)